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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Monster meets its match: Record-breaking alligator gar fish caught in Mississippi lake

By Daily Mail Reporter

Biologists with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks measure the record-breaking alligator gar

It may not have been love at first sight but it was certainly a Valentine's Day to remember for angler Kenny Williams when he landed an alligator gar that tipped the scales at a world record 327lbs.

Williams, from Vicksburg, Mississippi, bagged the fish in Chotard Lake, Issaquena County, using nets to catch it and then grabbing it by the gills to heave it into the boat.

Biologists with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks measured the beast at 8ft 51/4ins long, with a girth of 47.95ins, and estimated it to be between 50 and 70 years old

The current International Game Fish Association record belongs to a 279-pounder pulled from the Rio Grande in Texas in 1951.

'At first I didn't think he was that big. But as I was getting him into the boat, it was like, How big is this thing? It was a lot of effort just to get him into the boat,' Williams told ABC affiliate WAPT-TV in Jackson.

Chotard Lake where the gigantic alligator gar lurked for between 50 and 70 years

Williams donated his catch to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, where it will be mounted and placed on display.

Alligator gars are the biggest species of gar. It is not uncommon for an average alligator gar to reach a length off 7-8ft and a weight around 100-120lbs, making it one of the biggest species of freshwater fish in North America.

It has several notable characteristics, the most notable being a dual row of teeth in the upper jaw. The teeth are small, but they are razor-sharp and can easily shred prey.



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