Fishing Record Fish

Watch This Texas Man Catch a 8-Foot, 300-Pound Alligator Gar That Could’ve Been the World Record

“It’s like walking a T-Rex … this is a massive fish. Good God!” 
Catching a giant gator gar
This fish could be almost 100 years old. Payton Moore, via Youtube

Payton Moore, a resident of Sugar Land, Texas, managed to catch and release an 8-foot, 300-pound alligator gar in a bayou near Houston. 

When he first hooked the fish, he thought he snagged a tree or something else in the water, but quickly realized that it was just a huge fish. Moore filmed himself catching the massive alligator gar, and you can see him struggle as he attempts to reel it in. 

“Oh my God, I cannot … can barely hang on to him,” said Moore after hooking the fish. “It’s like walking a T-Rex … this is a massive fish. Good God!” 

The fish almost pulls Moore into the water at several points in the video. Moore wasn’t sure how large the fish was for several minutes while reeling in the gar. He wanted to let the fish run and wear itself out, but there was a tree in the bayou, so Moore had to hold him in one position for fear of getting entangled. 

He let the fish swim in small circles to wear itself out. Eventually, he was able to get a rope around the body of the massive gar and drag it on the bank of the bayou. 

“I’ve never caught one this big I don’t think,” said Moore. Once he had the fish out of the water he measured it at 8 feet, 2 inches, with a girth of 48 inches. A gar that size would have weighed more than 300 pounds. That’s right around the size of the Texas state record for an alligator gar, which is 302 pounds. That fish was caught in 1953.

As for the biggest alligator gar of all time, this fish is still pretty close. In 2011, Kenny Williams from Mississippi managed to catch a 327-pound alligator gar that measured 8-feet, 5.25 inches, with a 47.95-inch girth. That unofficial fish blew the IGFA All-Tackle World Record of 279 pounds out of the water, as does Moore’s catch. 

Moore didn’t have his catch officially weighed, so it won’t count in the record books. Solomon David, an aquatic ecologist at Nicholls State University, told the Houston Chronicle, that the fish Moore caught could be almost 100 years old. 

“It’s very likely there are alligator gar out there that are over 100 years old,” David said. “You’re looking at well over half a century for a lot of these large alligator gar.”

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