Winter Haven homeowner calls police after ‘flying’ catfish lands in pool

The catfish crashed through the lanai.

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – A Winter Haven homeowner heard a loud crash and found a new meaning for flying fish.

“We were watching TV and we heard a huge crash!” homeowner Leonard Vanderpool said.

When Vanderpool went to inspect where the noise had come from, he found a large hole in their screened-in porch and a catfish swimming in the backyard pool.

“I come out and there’s a big hole in my screen, and there’s this big bullhead swimming in the water. It didn’t kill him or anything. He’s going crazy. The water was moving like crazy,” Vanderpool said.

Not knowing how the fish had just fallen from the sky, he called Winter Haven Police.

An officer helped get the fish out of the pool, and took a few photos.

“The fish was swimming like crazy. We took ten minutes to get him out of the water. Then the policeman put him in a big bucket that I had. It just barely fit in there,” Vanderpool said.

“It didn’t seem like people would believe it. It is crazy.” Dawn Vanderpool said the officer was even surprised. “He had to take pictures because he knew they wouldn’t believe him back at the station.”

Police eventually determined that a large bird had captured the fish to eat it, and while flying over the neighborhood, accidentally dropped the fish.

“The fish probably stung it with its horns, because bullheads have horns, and he dropped it right through my screen,” Vanderpool said. “When we had it out you could see talon marks on its back.”

The catfish miraculously survived and the officer set it free in nearby Lake Ruby.


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