Last May, Monroe MacKinney reeled in a fish from a pond in Fair Grove, Missouri, only to discover that he’d caught two animals instead of one. Inside the throat of the largemouth bass MacKinney had hooked, he found a surprising stowaway—a mole. When the fisherman saw the small furry mammal, he was so startled he dropped his catch.
MacKinney thinks the fish must have eaten the mole, which then drowned inside the fish’s mouth as it swam underwater. Largemouth bass usually prey on small fish, which they swallow whole. But bass aren’t picky eaters and have been observed gulping down birds, turtles, and snakes. “If it can fit in their throat, they’ll try to eat it,” says MacKinney.