MAGNOLIA – The sun may have cooked away any rainbows over Lake Columbia on Saturday, July 27, but local angler David Allen Sisson certainly found the proverbial pot of gold when he netted a fish few in the fishing world have ever heard of. A golden crappie surfaced at the end of his line during one of his frequent trips to the 3,000-acre fishing destination in Columbia County.
Sisson was vertically jigging a sweat tea and lemon-colored Bobby Garland jig on a chartreuse jighead when the fish took the bait.
“The jig is the same color as a little bluegill, and that’s what those fish are after down there this time of year,” Sisson said. “I’d caught about three crappie off the pile before that one hit. It hit just like a crappie and pulled just like a crappie, but when it got to the surface, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a beautiful fish like nothing I’d seen before.”
Sisson’s luck continued. As he looked around after the catch, another angler was nearby, so he drove over to him to get a photo while the fish was fresh out of the water.
“The pictures still don’t do it justice,” Sisson said. “It was amazing, and I just feel blessed to have caught it.”
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission District Fisheries Supervisor and avid crappie angler Andy Yung also was excited to hear about the catch.
“I had never seen a golden crappie in my life,” Yung said. “I’ve read about them, but it’s something you just never see in the wild.”
Yung explains the gold coloration is caused by a genetic mutation called Xanthism, similar to what causes a rare animal to be an albino or