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Alligator captured in Texas could set new world records

Kentucky fisherman Art Weston will never have to lie about the size of the fish he caught. That’s because he may have landed one of the biggest ever!

Weston, 52, of Kentucky, caught a 283-pound alligator on 6-pound fishing line in Sam Rayburn Reservoir in southeast Texas on September 2. He was aboard the boat of International Game Fish Association guide and renowned lepi fishing expert Kirk Kirkland. .

The duo makes a fishing dream team. Weston holds 56 IGFA records, 30 currently, and Kirkland is a world record guide, Weston said in a recent interview with the IGFA.

The IGFA is currently reviewing the catches and may soon hold new records.

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Art Weston after catching a potentially record-breaking 283-pound alligator gar fish caught in Sam Rayburn Reservoir on September 2, 2023.Art Weston after catching a potential record 283-pound alligator fish caught in Sam Rayburn Reservoir on September 2, 2023.

Art Weston after catching a potential record 283-pound alligator fish caught in Sam Rayburn Reservoir on September 2, 2023.

Potentially record catch

This catch – approaching the weight of an average college or NFL lineman – is being reviewed by the organization for two potential records: The first is the current All-Tackle World Record for alligators, currently at 279 pounds, a record set on December 2, 1951, when Bill Valverde caught an alligator in Rio Grande, Texas.

Additionally, the fish, which measured more than 8 feet in length and 4 feet in girth, could also set a record for largest spinach caught with 6-pound test line, according to the IGFA.

Weston said he didn’t expect to catch a fish that size. “We had absolutely no intention of going for an All-Tackle record when we were using the 6-pound configuration,” he told the IGFA. “I don’t know if I will ever feel the same level of amazement as when the 283-pound guy appeared alongside the boat, allowing us to get a closer look. I remember my eyes widening of surprise ! “

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“Oh my God, it’s a monster!”

“I remember screaming, ‘Oh my God, he’s a monster!'” Weston told Fox News.

Kirkland called the catch “the highlight of my guiding career… quite an accomplishment for both angler and guide” in a Facebook post. “It takes both to do everything right, with lots of shifting back and forth, turning the boat, the angler putting in just the right amount of drag, not letting the line touch the boat and 2 hours and 45 long minutes later, I was able to put a rope on a very tired alligator gar.

By the time they caught the fish, “I had a very tired fisherman (Art), he was shaking and visibly tired. He commented ‘Kirk, it looks bigger than the 251 pound alligator we caught in April,’” Kirkland posted.

Located approximately 140 miles northeast of Houston, Sam Rayburn Reservoir is known to be home to very large alligator gar (Atractosteus Spatula), a distinctive-looking freshwater fish with a long snout and large, sharp teeth, Smithsonian magazine reported. Alligators have snouts that resemble American alligators, razor-sharp teeth and can grow more than 10 feet long and weigh up to 350 pounds, according to NationalGeographic.com.

After weighing the fish, they released it into the tank.

Weston is already planning to return to Texas in 2024, but he also told the IGFA, “I’m intrigued by the idea of ​​a record musky hunt in Wisconsin and may plan a trip for that in 2024.”

Follow Mike Snider on X and Threads: @mikesnider & mikegsnider.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fisherman catches ‘monster’ alligator, could set new records