A massive alligator gar recently caught in Texas could topple a world record that has stood for generations, photos show.
Art Weston, an experienced gar fisherman from Kentucky, made the catch on Sam Rayburn Lake, near Lufkin, with the help of guide Kirk Kirkland, Kirkland told McClatchy News in a Facebook message.
“Lots of blood, sweat and tears (and broken line) went into this achievement,” Kirkland said.
Weston reeled the gar in after a nearly three hour struggle, keeping the thrashing monster hooked on a 6-pound line, Kirkland said.
Realizing they had landed something special, the pair quickly made their way to shore to weigh the fish.
“We both had a look of shock when the scale just kept going higher and higher,” Kirkland said. The gar weighed in at a staggering 283 pounds, photos show, and it measured more than 8 feet long.
Kirkland and Weston have sent documentation to the International Game Fish Association. If the fish is certified, it will break the world record alligator gar all-tackle record, set in 1951.
“Angler and world record chaser Art Weston and I did what no other alligator gar angler has been able to accomplish in 72 years .... catch a fish bigger than the all tackle world record set so many years ago on the bank of the Rio Grande River,” Kirkland said.
“I won’t lie, we both jumped up and down,” he added.
After verifying the gar’s weight, length and girth, Kirkland and Weston released the fish back into the water, video shows.
Alligator gar are a prehistoric fish, often prized by anglers because of their size and appearance, McClatchy News reported. Despite what their intimidating name might imply, alligator gar pose no threat to people.