An angler hooked a “magnificent beast” while fishing in southeast Texas, setting a new record with his catch, according to wildlife officials.
A 207-pound alligator gar pulled from Lake Corpus Christi — roughly 40 miles northwest of downtown Corpus Christi — is the largest the lake has ever seen, the state Parks and Wildlife Department said in a May 22 Facebook post.
Officials shared a photo of the fish, which easily measures longer than the person lying beside it.
The alligator gar was released after the photo was taken, officials said.
“I’m so glad they released this old timer beast to fight again,” a commenter wrote.
“I’m not swimming in that lake,” wrote another.
While alligator gar have an intimidating name and appearance, they are not a threat to people and there are no confirmed instances of an alligator gar attacking a person, McClatchy News reported.
Many were curious, “about how old would a magnificent beast like that be?”
It’s difficult to say for certain, but an alligator gar measuring 7-feet long should be roughly 40 years old, according to TPWD. They are known to grow longer than 8 feet, reaching weights north of 300 pounds.
The largest known alligator gar, caught in 2011 in Mississippi, was 327 pounds and estimated to be at least 95 years old, TPWD said.
But the Texas record for largest alligator gar has stood unbroken since 1953, when an angler caught a 302-pound gar using a trotline, according to the department.