A big fish story! Ahwatukee angler reels in big catch

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX --  Do we have a fish story for you! A local angler got a surprise full of teeth in a lake this weekend. She was fishing in a lake near an Ahwatukee elementary school, when something strong grabbed the line.

She had no idea she was pulling in a very foreign and very freaky fish.

"I love to fish," says Susan Aavang. "I grew up fishing."

Susan says she likes to fish at a lake near her Ahwatukee home. For the past few weeks, she has been using hot dogs as bait, since that's how her brother caught a strange-looking fish in the same spot a few weeks ago.

The bait apparently worked for Susan, too. "All of sudden something attacked the bait," she says. " I could tell it was on the hook. I started pulling it in, pulling it in."

A man nearby helped get the fish into the net, and soon, Susan had her catch.

"This picture here is the fish I caught," she showed us. "As you can see, when you pull the bottom lip down, you can see it has almost human-like teeth."

Turns out, it was a 3 and a half pound Pacu, a South American cousin of the piranha. And Susan couldn't wait to show it off to her neighbors.

"When she brought it home, I put a straw in its mouth, and after I put it in its mouth, it snapped," says neighbor Ken Lubic.

Susan's fish story has blown up on her Facebook page, with people making comments like: "Look at its teeth," and "Impressive." 

And Susan thinks there are more Pacus in that lake, such as the one her brother let go.
"The one that got away," she says. "Still out there.  I'm going to catch that one next."