NewsOK reported 1st: Paul Easley of Mead landed the biggest fish ever caught in Oklahoma last Thursday when he snagged an 8-foot alligator gar from Lake Texoma that weighed 254 pounds. The beast easily beat the old state record of 192 pounds. State wildlife officials estimate the fish, which Easley released alive back into the lake, is between 40 and 50 years old.
“It did swim off,” said Matt Mauck, south-central fisheries supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “They made their best attempt to get it back in the water alive. She did not appear to need any encouragement to leave.”
Mauck said he often is skeptical when he gets a phone call from an angler about a possible state record alligator gar, but when Easley told him the girth (44 inches) and length of the fish, he knew it was a giant.
He then rushed to the area of the lake near the Red River with a set of scales because Easley wanted to release the fish alive.
“It takes a unique set of scales to weigh an 8-foot long fish,” he said.
Easley was using 150-pound braided line and a 3.0 treble hook to snag the alligator gar, which move closer to the shore to spawn at this time of year.
“People think they are river monsters,” Mauck said. “They are just a big, unique fish that most of the time you wouldn’t even know they are in the body of water.”
Anglers are allowed to harvest one alligator gar per day, except during May when fishing is prohibited for them in their spawning areas on Lake Texoma.