By Jack Williams
A stunned fisherman has captured an image that is enough to make even fellow anglers double take, as inside the catch’s mouth is an entire OCTOPUS.
The shot shows a sharp-toothed lingcod with its mouth open, the octopus’ head and tentacles clearly visible inside.
Matthew Mertz, 24, captured the image last month while fishing around one-and-a-half miles off the coast of Santa Cruz, California, in the Pacific Ocean.
Matthew, from Palo Alto, CA, said: “This fish must have just eaten that octopus before hitting our jig because it was in almost perfect condition in his mouth; at first I thought it was still alive.
“Everyone was even more excited after seeing the octopus – like a good omen for the day to come.
“I snapped a couple photos before grabbing the octopus out of its mouth and sticking it on my jig to use as bait.”
The fish was around 27 inches long, and was the first keeper that day for Matthew.
Since capturing the image, on August 5, 2017, Matthew has shown pictures of his catch to a number of friends and family – garnering a positive response from most.
Matthew said: “I had no idea people would like the image as much as people have.
“I thought it was a pretty cool picture when I captured it, but I was not expecting so many people to ask me about it or comment.”