The picture was posted on Reddit about a week ago by a user called "jlitch" with the headline "Friend also caught this fishing in NJ," The (Newark, N.J.,) Star-Ledger reported Sunday.
Since it has been posted, it has been viewed more than 1.2 million times and has received more than 2,000 comments, some of which questioned the authenticity of the photo.
Jlitch posted additional photos three days that shows a wider shot of the fisherman who snatched the animal using a bow and arrow to quell the Photoshop rumors.
The website Outdoor investigated the photo and said the creature pictured is likely a sea lamprey, an eel-like parasites with a mouth full of jagged teeth.
Sea lampreys start their lives in The Great Lakes and move to the sea and have been more recently moved into streams in New Jersey.