Angler Art Weston joined expert guide Captain Kirk Kirkland on a quest to catch a massive alligator gar in East Texas. Kirkland, an alligator gar specialist with 250 days fishing experience yearly, hoped to catch a 130-pound specimen at Lake Sam Rayburn. Little did they expect the beast they’d reel in, battling for nearly three hours against the strongest fish of their careers.
Setting bait and waiting patiently, Weston and Kirkland’s patience paid off with a monster strike. “The reel started screaming as the fish grabbed and took off,” recalled Weston. They fought tirelessly to subdue the powerful alligator gar. At over two hours, Kirkland sensed they had a true leviathan, urging Weston to increase efforts.
Finally, the massive shape emerged, and Weston shouted in disbelief at the giant before them. Once ashore, their jaws dropped at its true size — a colossal 283 pounds, shattering records. As the Texas Parks and Wildlife notes, alligator gar species date back to dinosaurs, living in rivers and reservoirs across the state.
Pending review, Weston is set to claim the International Game Fish Association’s prestigious all-tackle and line-class records, exceeding marks over 70 years old. “One of the greatest achievements of the decade,” stated IGFA President Jason Schratwieser. After reviving the caught prehistoric fish, the duo released their catch, but the memory of battling the legendary catch will last forever.