What's 8-feet long, 250-plus pounds and lives at the bottom of Oklahoma's Lake Texoma?
Oklahoma angler Paul Easley found out on April 23 when he landed a massive 254-pound, 12-ounce alligator gar that is not only a state record for the species, but the largest fish ever caught in Sooner State waters, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation announced on April 28.
The Mead, Okla. resident immediately contacted Matt Mauck, the south central regional supervisor with the ODWC, after catching the behemoth fish to record an official weight and measurement, and to snap some photos. The monster gar was released after measuring.
Coming in at 97 3/4-inches long with 44 inches of girth, Easley's catch easily shattered the previous Oklahoma state record for the species â€” a 192-pound, 1-ounce catch on the Red River in 2011 by James Tucker.
"I certified the last one, and I thought at the time, 'Remember this, because you'll probably never see another one this big again,'â€‰" Mauck told the Tulsa World newspaper, "Well, now I have, and it was a lot bigger."
Paperwork to certify the new record is pending only on a signature.
"It's the new record. It's official. It just needs a signature," said Micah Holmes, the ODWC spokesperson.
Contrary to what Jeremy Wade's show on Animal Planet would have you believe, Mauck says the alligator gar is certainly no river monster.
"I wouldn't consider them a river monster. I wouldn't worry about them in the water for a second," he said. "They are a special and unique fish, and from my experience they are not aggressive. They are pretty docile and would just as soon be left alone."
Because spawning opportunities are determined by water levels for the alligator gar, fishing for the species is closed throughout the month of May in Oklahoma.
Keep in mind that if you're planning to fish for the alligator gar in Oklahoma anglers are required to register each catch with the ODWC. Also, it is a one-per-day limit.