Texas Teens Catch Giant Alligator Gar After Thinking It Was a Turtle

The goliath was almost 7 feet long!

At only 18 years old, pals Charlie Oliver and Evan Adams already have years of fishing experience under their belt, but they'd never brought in haul quite like the one they got as a late Christmas present on December 26.

The Houston high school seniors were fishing in Buffalo Bayou on Sunday afternoon when Oliver felt something especially heavy on his line. Thinking he'd hooked an alligator snapping turtle, a common occurrence in the area, he set the hook and handed the rod to Adams.

Bayou gar

Courtesy of Charlie Oliver and Evan Adams

"We catch really big alligator snapping turtles on accident all the time, so I thought that's what it was," Oliver told Matt Young of Chron.com. "The turtles kind of stick to the bottom and just feel really heavy on the line, but a little bit into the fight, we realized it was a monster fish."

After a 15-minute fight, the boys successfully brought up their prize, a giant alligator gar measuring 6 feet and 10 inches. They estimated that the fish weighed around 140 pounds. After snapping a few photos to show friends and family, they released the goliath back into the bayou.

Though the fish didn't break any records, it'll certainly be a tale the boys tell for years to come. They've been told their fish, which they caught using cut-up carp, is probably the biggest to come out of Buffalo Bayou in the last 10 years.

"People were really freaked out about it," Oliver told Chron.com. "They thought something that big couldn't be swimming in their backyard."

For the record, the largest alligator gar caught on a rod and reel in Texas weighed 279 pounds—almost double the size of Oliver and Adams' catch—and was brought out of the Rio Grande River in 1951. The biggest alligator gar on record was caught in the net of a commercial fisherman in Mississippi's Chotard Lake in 2011. It measured 8 feet, 5 inches and weighed 327 pounds.

Apparently there are always bigger fish to fry!

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