Roger Niesen was cleaning fish and watching MeatEater TV with buddies last weekend when they came across a hockey puck-sized object in a pike’s stomach.
The 38-inch northern was caught on the Mississippi River in Wisconsin and sat on the ice for 5 hours before hitting the cutting board. They noticed a hard object bulging in its belly and made guesses about what it was. When they sliced in, they were stunned to find a 9-inch bluegill still alive.
“It absolutely floored us,” Niesen said. “I would have put money on it being a turtle.”
Besides the jumbo panfish, the pike’s gut was packed with shiners (which is what they caught the pike on). Despite the plea of hundreds of Facebook and YouTube commenters, Niesen didn’t release the ‘gill.
“We caught about 40 other bluegill that day and filleted this one with the rest of them,” Niesen said. “He wound up in the deep fryer and tasted great.”