SHELBY, Ohio (Mansfield News Journal) -- Coleman Browning could tell right away what he caught while fishing Wednesday was not supposed to be there.
If the eyes and the size of the fish weren't enough, the sharp, jagged teeth certainly gave it away.
"When the game warden came out and saw me catch it, he said, 'What is that?'" Browning said. "I told him, 'I think I just caught a piranha.'"
Indeed, according to what the game warden told Browning, the 17-year-old amateur fisherman reeled in a cousin of a piranha, known as a pacu, while fishing in Shelby Reservoir No. 3 Wednesday afternoon.
Browning estimated the male fish weighed about 7 pounds and measured nearly 16 inches across and 7 inches by the width.
It used every bit of its size to give Browning quite the fight, too.
Like every great fish tale, the story started out innocently enough. Browning wanted to kill some time, so he went down to the Shelby reservoir at about 11 in the morning.
He spent a few hours fishing off the reservoir dock and caught about seven small catfish.
The big, toothy fish soon followed.
"It kept hitting my rod and it stripped the bait away," Browning recalled. "I rebaited my hook and threw it right where I was getting the hits. It was fighting me hard."
One broken hook and a few minutes later, Browning caught the fighter.
"I finally got him in and it didn't look like anything I've ever seen before," he said.
Browning revisited the reservoir hours later and showed the pacu to people walking along the reservoir trail.
"I just can't believe it — there is a piranha in our reservoir," said Theresa Armitage, who stopped by to inspect the fish with 10-year-old daughter, Mekeyla. "Sometimes we let our dog drink out of that water, but now ... I'm just not sure."
Browning said he has no plans to do much with the fish now, aside from show it off to friends.
Though he's been a fisherman all his life, this was arguably his biggest — or at least most interesting — catch.
"It's usually just catfish, so this was a real big surprise," Browning said. "You can't top catching that. That's your day, right there."