Sarasota, Fla. (CBS TAMPA) — A Florida man fishing Phillippi Creek with shrimp bait reeled in a fish that is related to the piranha and has a legendary reputation for pursuing and eating men’s testicles.
Sarasota fisherman Tom Rigby had to “fight like crazy” with the fish before attempting to identify the strange species he reeled into his boat, Asleep at the Reel.
“I got out my handy-dandy Florida fish identification chart and go through all the species and I can’t see anything that looks like it,” Rigby told WWSB-TV.
After sending a picture of the fish to Mote Marine they quickly identify it as a pacu, a freshwater species that is native to South America – and related to piranhas.
“I’m looking at all those teeth in there and I’m thinking this thing could do some serious damage to another fish or to something,” said Rigby.
But that “something” was actually a legend that could make any man wince.
“Found out it has a reputation for going after men’s testicles, and I was just worried about it biting my finger,” Rigby told WWSB.
Reports from Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel have not proven the pacu’s devious dietary habit, but Rigby says the creek is still home to the piranha-like fish.
“It was quite an adventure, pretty cool to catch and it’s out there somewhere still looking for lunch.”
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