A massive 200-pound alligator gar from Texas’ Trinity River is a new rod-and-reel record.


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_A Cleveland man set the rod-and-reel alligator gar record for Trinity River when he caught a 7-foot, 9-inch fish in April. Joseph Williams said when he set out to go fishing in the river below Lake Livingston dam on April 14, he was prepared to catch the biggest freshwater fish in Texas.

“I was out for a big fish,” Williams said. “I caught several and lost several that day. I had some that I couldn’t turn that broke off. I think they were bigger than the one I caught–I have sure seen bigger.”_ He eventually hooked an alligator gar, one so big it had to be weighed at a truck stop, where it was officially recorded as an even 200 pounds. “We did weigh the fish on uncertified scales we know to be reliable that showed it to be 230 pounds,” Williams said, “but the truck stop scales only read in 50-pound increments, so that was the weight we had to use for the record.” Williams said he hoped to release the fish alive and capture the state catch-and-release record for alligator gar, but it could not be revived when put back into the water. Regardless, it’s now the rod-and-reel record for the Trinity.