Fisherman catches 283-pound ‘river monster’ to break 72-year-old world fishing record
Jasper, Texas -Art Weston is back in the depths of East Texas with another fish story for the ages.
the Kentucky A fisherman has just caught another giant alligator fish while on a trip with his fishing guide, Captain Kirk Kirkland, on his boat, the Garship Enterprise.
In April, Weston received recognition for achieving another notch in his belt of 40 world records. He caught a 251-pound alligator while fishing near Houston. While the 80-pound line class record is being revised, he has already surpassed that and captured the all-tackle record on September 2.
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An angler of record, Weston is a member of the International Angler Association as a world-famous angler. This particular trip aims to break records in the line category by catching the largest fish with a specific drag limit.
“I have a few of these line-class records already, and on this September 2023 trip, I had a plan to chase the 12-pound line-class record first, since I felt it was the most I could get,” he said. “The record that was beaten was just under 130 pounds.”
During the conversation, Kirkland and Weston shared a good spot on Lake Sam Rayburn in Texas for light fishing. The place had a sandy bottom and few snags, but Kirkland also mentioned there may not be a lot of fish in the area. Despite this, Weston was keen to break some records and agreed to take the risk.
During the first day of their week-long trip, the couple arrived at their destination and docked their boat. They didn’t have to wait long before one of the reels started spinning quickly. The astonishing 169-pound alligator was the first of two massive fish caught before the King of the Waters emerged to claim his title.
Race against time
It took 2 hours and 45 minutes to catch the 283-pound fish on 6-pound test line and complete the IGFA log requirements. However, it was a difficult process.
“I was dreading it at this point, as I fought other fish a couple of hours later and the line randomly broke, and I didn’t put enough pressure on it,” he said.
Weston was prepared to lose the catch.
“I don’t like to admit it, but I wear a little fight belt for exactly these situations, because it makes it much easier to relax your arm muscles if you can put the butt of the stick in the belt,” he said. .
The fish kept moving without stopping, but Weston couldn’t put much pressure on it because of the light line. The fisherman could never see the fish clearly because it was doing some running and rolling, but he knew it was big.
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After two hours and 20 minutes, Weston said, he finally saw the tip of the leader, which was about 6 feet long, just below the surface. He followed the fish for more than 10 minutes. He couldn’t get it any closer, but he lifted the leader 4 inches out of the water and stayed with the fish for another 10 minutes.
I said, ‘Kirk, she’s coming!’ Weston shouted as he was now ready to land it when it surfaced. “I remember screaming, ‘Oh my God!’ This is a beast!’” And this is after landing a 251-pound gar last April. “I’ve never seen a laurel this big before.”
According to Weston, landing large alligators involves the task of securing a rope around them. This may require several attempts because these fish tend to resist staying on the surface for a long time because they need to breathe air and swim again.
Kirkland was able to put a rope on the fish on the first try. Unfortunately, the fish was not caught, and it immediately sank, resulting in him being severely burned by the rope.
“He screamed and was clearly in pain, but he managed to secure her to the side of the boat. It took more than 10 minutes and several ropes,” Weston said.
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When arriving at the beach to weigh the catch, the tripod holding the scale nearly came off because one of its legs was bent from lifting the weight of the fish above ground level.
“I was ready to take a picture of the weight once the tail was off the ground, and I was like ‘Oh my (expletive), that’s 283 pounds,’” Weston exclaimed.
He was a whopping 48 inches in circumference and 100 inches long, a true monster at 8 feet 4 inches tall, Weston said. This catch will not only break the line class record of 6 pounds, but will also break the overall record of 279 pounds set in 1951, which has stood for more than 70 years.
Weston stressed the importance of quickly returning the huge fish to the water to allow it to recover.
The ropes that were tied to the creature were skillfully removed by the two who also took care to clean the fish well before proceeding to take some additional photos. They then release it back into the water to continue thriving and await its next adventure.