As if these ferocious looking fish weren’t scary enough — an alligator gar bigger than a person was pulled from a Mississippi Lake. 

This alligator gar set a world record — stretching to more than eight feet in length and weighing 327 pounds. The second biggest alligator gar to date was a 279-pound specimen caught in Texas back in 1951. 

The alligator gar is among the largest species of freshwater fish found in North America. On average they measure 5-6 feet in length and often weigh over 100 pounds. Their most distinctive characteristics include a torpedo-shaped body, short broad snout, and rows of sharp teeth with a double row on their upper jaw.

 

Image: FB/Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks

These animals may seem passive, floating languidly beneath the surface of the water, but they are really just sitting in wait for their next meal. Once targeted, they stalk their prey until they are close enough to attack. These ravenous ambush predators primarily hunt fish, but are also known to take down water fowl and small mammals.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

This record alligator gar got caught up in a fisherman’s net in a lake in Mississippi. Unfortunately, the fish didn’t survive the encounter. The fisherman, Kenny Williams, had an extremely hard time getting the large body up onto the boat and transporting it back to shore. He was going to donate it to an aquarium but the specimen died soon after it was untangled from the net.

The fish was measured and analyzed, determined to be a female between 50-70 years old. Williams donated it to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson where it sits display for all to see.

This video includes some of the biggest alligator gar ever caught in the world: