Tri-State man feeding a 283-pound fish

LUFKIN, TX (WXIX) – A northern Kentucky man with a passion for fishing may have broken an international record while on a fishing trip in Texas over the weekend.

Art Weston, from Union, Kentucky, has been fishing since he was a young boy growing up in Illinois with his father and brothers. Over the past few years, the local man has been exploring numerous waterways with a guide service run by Captain Kirk Kirkland, cruising around aiming for the International Fishing Fish Association’s (IGFA) world records.

“Fishing is my main hobby, targeting river fishing here in the US and in South America. I’ve been fishing in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay. “I have over 50 current (and pending) world fishing records in the IGFA.”

The fisherman says he recently broke the 70-year-old IGFA world record while on an eight-day fishing trip on Sam Rayburn Lake in Lufkin, Texas, on Saturday.

While aboard Captain Kirkland’s boat, known as the Garship Enterprise, Weston says he took on an Alligator Gar that weighed 283 pounds and was four feet long by 8 feet 4 inches long.

“I got this all-around record on a six-pound test line, which means it would break at 6 pounds of force, so when I think I caught a 283-pound fish on a six-pound test, that makes it even more special,” he said. Weston.

According to the IGFA website, the current all-time world record for this type of fish was set by Bill Valverde on December 2, 1951, in Rio Grande, Texas.

“The reason the crocodile may appear to be garrowing a few times while fighting to get gulps of air or to jump is, if you have a great guide like Captain Kirk, he can get a rope on him and land him over the side. The boat is legal for the IGFA record,” he explained. He keeps the boat over the fish the whole time we’re fighting it, ready to land it when it comes to the surface.”

It took Captain Kirkland and Weston more than 2 hours and 45 minutes to land the creature.

“I was only targeting a 130-pound fish on the 6-pound test—which was needed to get the 6-pound record—but the 283-pound fish swallowed the bait,” he explained.

After the couple took the fish’s measurements – weight, length and girth – they released it back into the water to “live a long life”. This is something they do with all their hunting.

“What I enjoy about fishing, especially log fishing, is all the strategy and knowledge you have to acquire and how well I plan each trip I apply the learning from previous trips to keep me ahead of the sport,” Weston said.

He even makes his own fishing gear, such as lures and rods, with other manufacturers to help provide bait for the species he is looking for.

Saturday will be the end of Weston’s expedition to Lake Texas.

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