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  1. #1
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    These are the same waters I ride in.

    Gaston County man reels in a piranha 4:33 PM

    04:33 PM EDT on Sunday, July 1, 2007

    By DIANA RUGG / WCNC
    E-mail Diana: [email protected]
    Gastonia, N.C. -- Jerry Melton got more than a mouthful when he reeled in a fish he thought would be his dinner.
    "I was expecting to get a fish that I could eat. I don't think I want to eat this one," said Melton.
    The fish had a little more bite than he expected -- one with several very sharp teeth. Melton had reeled in a one-pound, four-ounce piranha.
    The fish with a voracious appetite is known for ganging up in groups on live animals and chowing down.
    "When I first reeled it in I thought it was a crappie or a brim.. a big brim," recalled Melton. "When I got it up on the bank I noticed it didn't look like a crappie or a brim."
    Melton caught the fish Thursday at his regular fishing spot near the US-27 bridge over the Catawba River in Mount Holly.
    He used one of his favorite fishing poles -- a Baitcaster reel and OceanMaster rod -- with a circle hook and shad for bait.
    He said he'd been there about two and a half hours, trying to catch a fish to eat -- when he got a tug on his line from a fish that could eat him.
    At first he didn't know what it was.
    "There was a guy down there that said that might be a piranha," said Melton, laughing. "And I said, 'that ain't no piranha -- they ain't got piranha down there!' "
    He knew the fish was ferocious when it bit down hard on his pocket knife.
    "It's got scratches on it where he bit it," said Melton, turning the knife over in his hand.
    Melton called the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, and an officer came to his home Saturday to take a look.
    When Melton pulled the fish out of the freezer, the Wildlife officer agreed he'd hooked a piranha.
    "It's the first one I've seen on this job," Officer Norwood told WCNC.
    Norwood said piranha are illegal to possess in North Carolina, so the owner probably dumped it in the river when he or she got tired of it.
    The toothy fish also impressed Melton's eight-year-old daughter.
    "They can bite your whole hand off, if they're bigger," said Tisha Melton. She said she looks forward to telling her friends about the fish.
    Jerry Melton said he doesn't expect to find another piranha at his favorite fishing spot, but he'll be back often trying to find dinner.
    He also said he won't be going any closer to the water than the length of his rod and reel.
    "I'm not gonna go swimming in the Catawba River no more!" he laughed. "I don't wanna get eaten up."


  2. #2
    mxl16's Avatar
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  3. #3
    JAG's Avatar
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    "Norwood said piranha are illegal to possess in North Carolina, so the owner probably dumped it in the river when he or she got tired of it."

    So how long was it between the time you dumped it in the river until it was caught?!?!

  4. #4
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    I put it in the same time as the Asian Carp, hydrilla, and Snakehead.

  5. #5
    cbrich's Avatar
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    You better fall off your ski with an open wound.

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