A fisherman and YouTuber from Sugar Land, Texas made a trip down to Houston and landed a massive alligator gar for his efforts. Payton Moore loves fishing. The only thing is, that he uses the fish folks normally catch as his bait. Moore loves getting those monsters. While he was in Houston, he found the biggest monster that he has ever caught in his life.
Moore is a firm believer that Houston’s waterways have some very large fish. So far, in the past few months, he has been able to prove that twice over. While he caught a 200-pound gar earlier this year, his latest catch dwarfs it. Alligator gar are common in the area and the vlogger has shown that these fish can grow into beasts.
His latest catch is his largest ever and might be one of the largest ever caught in all of Texas. In a state that does things big in everything they do, that’s quite an accomplishment. The 32-year-old won’t say where he caught the fish, in order to protect the huge gar. However, he measured it out to be roughly 8 feet long and weighing around 300 pounds. And, yes, he did post the video to his YouTube page.
Battling an Alligator Gar in Texas
Moore has plenty of experience with alligator gar and the Texas angler knew what to expect when this one hit the line. At first, he thought he was snagged on a tree, things quickly changed when the fish started to move.
“They’re big, they’re strong, they’re heavy, and they give you everything they got, right away,” the YouTuber explained.
“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 said about the initial encounter.
Like any good fisherman, when Moore started the battle, he knew he had no shot of reeling it in quickly. This would be a battle of attrition with an animal much larger and stronger than himself. So, he started to play with the fish. Pulling it from side to side, causing the fish to swim in circles and tire out, he waited for the perfect moment. Using a lasso, he secured the fish around the pectoral fins and brought it to the shallows.
After measuring and weighing the fish out, he noted it was 8 feet and 2 inches. If those measurements are true, then it would be well over 300 pounds. Officially, the state record in Texas in 302 and was set in 1953.
Issues with Officially Measuring Giant Fish
Payton Moore had no problem letting this fish go after measuring it himself. While the record could have easily been his, the process is too much on large fish. In order to get an official record, a state-certified scale must be used. Most of the time, the process is too hard on large fish like this. It could result in death.
Estimates, from Moore, as well as an aquatic ecologist at Nicholls State University Dr. Solomon David, put the fish at 50-100 years old.
“The fish could have been swimming around in Texas waters when Truman was president,” Moore said about its age.
“It’s very likely there are alligator gar out there that are over 100 years old,” Dr. David explained. “You’re looking at well over half a century for a lot of these large alligator gar.”
Kudos to Moore for releasing that monster. Takes a certain appreciation for these animals to let that happen.