In an angler’s dream come true, Art Weston snagged a colossal 283-pound alligator gar in Texas, setting the stage for a potential double world record. On September 2, Weston reeled in this behemoth at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, a renowned hotspot for these distinctive-looking freshwater giants.
Guided by local boat captain Kirk Kirkland aboard the “Garship Enterprise,” Weston faced a grueling 2 hours and 45 minutes battle to land the massive catch. Kirkland even suffered rope burns as they brought the creature to shore.
Upon weighing and measuring the gar, which stretched an impressive 8 feet, 4 inches in length, they released it back into the reservoir. Now, they await confirmation from the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) for the potential breaking of two records: the IGFA men’s six-pound line class record and the all-tackle record for alligator gar. The IGFA has recognized the feat as “pending.”
Weston, no stranger to record-breaking catches, boasts 23 IGFA records, with more awaiting validation.
Experts believe this colossal creature, likely a female, could be between 50 and 80 years old. Alligator gars are known to grow slowly but can attain enormous sizes, with the largest ever recorded weighing 327 pounds. Conservation efforts are vital to protect these giants and ensure their continued existence.
While Weston’s achievement awaits official recognition, it’s a testament to the allure of angling and the potential for remarkable discoveries in our world’s waters.