Advertisement

Angler chokes up after catching and releasing 300-pound alligator gar

Fishing in an undisclosed bayou in Houston last Thursday, Payton Moore landed a fish of a lifetime that caused him to choke up after releasing it.

Moore, who videotapes his fishing exploits and posts them on YouTube, caught an estimated 300-pound alligator gar that stretched 8 feet, 2 inches and had a girth estimated at 48 inches.

Had he kept the fish, it might have been a state record. The current Texas record is 302 pounds set in 1953.

“I just need a moment,” Moore says in his video, after releasing the fish.

“An animal like that, a better part of a century in age, I can fish for the rest of my life and never see one like that again…I’m sorry. It’s almost emotional.”

You can see in the video that it was emotional. He posted the 15-minute video on his “Wild Life” YouTube channel.

Once he got the gar close to shore, he lassoed it with a rope, measured it and took photos before releasing it.

Moore told the Houston Chronicle that he first thought he had snagged a tree branch since he couldn’t budge the line. Then it started moving and he knew it was a big fish.

“It felt like somebody’s car had just started up and was rolling out of the driveway, and I’m hanging on to the end of it,” he told the Chronicle.

Moore explained under his video the method he used to estimate the fish’s weight. He didn’t want to kill the fish just to get its weight. Nor did he want to wait long before releasing it.

“Sometimes, by the time you might have somebody come out and measure it or if you manage to bring that fish somewhere else, large fish can stress and the process could potentially kill the fish that way,” Dr. Solomon David, an aquatic ecologist at Nicholls State University and GarLab’s principal investigator, told the Chronicle. “My hat’s off to Payton for releasing the fish.”

Also on FTW Outdoors: Exotic sea creature washes ashore alive and baffles beachgoer (video) 

David estimated the fish’s age to be 50 to 100 years old.

“The fish literally could have been swimming around in Texas waters when Truman was president,” Moore told the Chronicle.

For comparison, the world record for an alligator gar is 327 pounds. It measured 8 feet, 5 inches.

Photos courtesy of Payton Moore.

More Stories

Dogs 'have some things to say' to orcas swimming past dock

Orcas have been cruising through Puget Sound during the past week, to the delight of residents and, it seems, to one resident’s dogs.

Read the full article

From The WebAds by Zergnet

Watch: Bear slips down waterfall, salmon leaps over bear

Footage from Brooks Falls in Alaska shows a brown bear slipping down a waterfall and a salmon jumping over the bear's head.

Read the full article

Watch: Hippo attacks lion as pride attempts gutsy river crossing

Three lions attempted to cross a river in Botswana with a fourth lion hanging back, apparently waiting to see if it was safe. It wasn’t, (...)

Read the full article
More Outdoors