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'Monster' 283-pound alligator gar caught in Texas could set two fishing records

A Kentucky angler and a Texas guide went out to catch some alligator gar in the hope of breaking some records, but never expected to possibly break two with one fish.

An angler and a professional guide may have broken two fishing records after they reeled in a massive alligator gar.

Art Weston, a Kentucky resident, went to East Texas to catch the alligator gar with the help of an expert guide and fisherman, Captain Kirk Kirkland.

Kirkland is a full-time fisherman and alligator gar guide. He can be found on the water 250 days out of the year, he told Fox News Digital.

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On Sept. 2, Weston joined Capt. Kirkland on his boat, the "Garship Enterprise," and went out to Lake Sam Rayburn in the hope of catching a 130-pound fish.

"It's one of the species that people travel from every country in the world to fish for and we have the best population here in the Trinity River," Kirkland said.

The two men were fishing with a six-pound line and needed a place that offered a sandy bottom with minimal snags — which is why Lake Sam Rayburn was the perfect choice, Weston told Fox News Digital.

"The drawback of this area was that there would be fewer fish," Weston said.

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"I was willing to take that trade-off to see if we could get records," he said.

Weston and Kirkland set up two reels with cut-bait and placed them in their rod holders before flipping the bait runners. Then, all that was left to do was wait for a pull.

The anglers successfully reeled in two gars after setting up, but things started to slow down before they caught their record-breaking treasure.

"All of a sudden, one of the reels started to scream — the fish just grabbed the bait and absolutely just took off in a straight line," Weston recalled.

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He and Kirkland fought the alligator gar nonstop for two hours and 45 minutes.

"It's pretty exhausting to catch fish like that," Kirkland noted.

He kept the boat right beside the fish as Weston held constant pressure on the line.

Both men knew they were dealing with something large, but it wasn't until the two-hour-and-20-minute mark that they realized just how massive it really was.

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"I said, ‘Kirk, she is coming up!’ and he increased the speed a bit, left the wheel, and was ready to land her when she surfaced," Weston said.

"I remember yelling, ‘Oh my God, that’s a monster!’" Weston added.

After battling the beast of a fish for another 20 minutes or so, Weston and the captain brought it ashore.

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Once they returned to land, the anglers took guesses at how much the fish weighed. They were stunned after seeing the number hit 283 pounds — a new all-tackle record.

"It was a pretty unbelievable accomplishment to have on your books," said Kirkland.

The record-breaking fish was 100 inches long and 48 inches around.

Weston is set to break both the International Game Fish Association's (IGFA) all-tackle and Men’s 3-kg (6 lb) line class world records for alligator gar, according to the IGFA.

The records are both "currently pending" and under review, the IGFA announced on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Fox News Digital reached out to the IGFA for comment.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife reports that alligator gar is a species that's "as old as the dinosaurs." 

It lives in rivers, reservoirs and estuaries throughout the state.

After weighing the large fish, Weston and Kirkland released their catch back into the water.

"I can’t say enough about Captain Kirk, and how he has helped me land so many wonderful fish," Weston commented.

"There are not too many guides that will put up with a record hunter and all the effort it takes, but he is the best there is," he added.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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