In an exhilarating conquest near Lufkin on Sam Rayburn Lake, seasoned angler Art Weston from Kentucky, with assistance from guide Kirk Kirkland, landed what might be a record-shattering gar. Kirkland, a seasoned guide boasting over 100 IGFA world records, dubbed the massive gar “the fishing world’s crown jewel” in a Facebook post from Sept. 7.
It wasn’t an easy feat. The titanic fish fought hard, with Weston wrestling it for almost three hours on a mere 6-pound line. “The culmination of countless hours, raw determination, and heart-stopping moments,” Kirkland reflected.
But as they pulled the enormous fish closer, both men realized they had potentially made history. The scale didn’t lie: the gar tipped it at a jaw-dropping 283 pounds and stretched over 8 feet in length.
The duo are now eagerly awaiting verification from the International Game Fish Association. If their catch is certified, it will smash a record that has remained unbroken since 1951.
Reveling in their achievement, Kirkland noted, “This is an angler’s dream – to surpass a record that’s stood for over seven decades!” The excitement was palpable, with Kirkland admitting, “Yes, there were celebrations and maybe a little dancing.”
Despite its monumental size, the duo demonstrated respect for their catch. After recording the essential details, they returned the prehistoric alligator gar to its watery home, preserving a species renowned for its majestic size and appearance. Contrary to its fierce moniker, these gars are gentle giants, posing no danger to humans.