LOOK: Texas Angler Catches Huge Alligator Snapping Turtle at Lake Cherokee

by Patrick Norton

Father’s Day is as relaxing as relaxing gets for holidays. Barbecue, good tunes on the radio, and quality family time is a famously popular way to spend the day. For Justin Broomhall, accidentally hooking a monster alligator snapping turtle works just as well.

Lake Cherokee, Texas brought forth the experience of a lifetime for Broomhall and his family. Spending the day on the water, the avid fisherman quickly recognized the severity of the situation and jumped into action. Unhooking the beast from his reel to protect the turtle from any wound of infection, that didn’t stop Broomhall from examining the creature and snapping a photo.

The Texan believes the animal to weigh more than 200 pounds and be over 100 years old. A photo posted to a local Facebook page – Talk of Ore City – seemingly backs up that claim. Local station KTYX CBS 19 spoke with Broomhall following the impressive catch, digging deeper into the man’s desire for quickly and safely releasing the turtle.

Releasing the protected species back into the water is a no-brainer. However, the extra care of removing the hook is dear to Broomhall, saying, “He’s already 100-years-old, he needs to live another 100 years.” The man points to past experiences behind his motivation, mentioning, “I’ve seen a bunch of people leave hooks and rope in the water and see fish, snakes drown from them.”

Alligator Snapping Turtles? Alligator Gar? Alligators?!

This is just another example of alligator-synonymous creatures capturing headlines. Less than two weeks ago, another Texas man caught an enormous seven-foot-long alligator gar. Near the border of Mexico and Texas, a man caught the giant fish while bowfishing. However, he didn’t allow the gar the same fate as Broomhall’s turtle.

Near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, an alligator committed murder last weekend. After the gator dragged a man into the water near a private golfing community, authorities found the parts of the body after a brief search in the pond. While the turtles and gar named for the reptile might offer forgiveness, it’s rare to receive a mulligan when staring destiny though the eyes of an alligator.