A Texas bowfisherman just landed a massive alligator gar. According to a Facebook post by his brother Gerardo in a Falcon Lake Fishing and Outdoors Facebook Group, Edgar Benitez caught the big gar on Tuesday, June 7. The catch took place at Falcon Lake, a reservoir on the Rio Grande that straddles the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas. In the comments of the Facebook post, Gerardo explains that his brother caught the massive fish using bowfishing gear—and countered some of the criticisms they received about killing such a big gar.
“[There have been] a lot of good comments [on the post] and some bad,” he writes. “When you go bow hunting for gar…you have 1 or 2 seconds at the most to get a shot, and it’s hard to tell how big [the fish] is. We don’t waste the meat; we actually share it with friends and family. Nothing goes to waste. The gar was measured a couple of times and several witnesses were present. The final measurement was 7 feet, 8 inches.”
In the comment section of the post, Gerardo also sought to counter those who doubted the measurement of the gar. The video shows an arrow protruding from one of the eyes of the big gar. Even without the forced perspective of the photo, which shows the gar hanging in front of Benitez, likely making it appear larger than it actually is, the gar looks truly giant. Gerardo says that they were not able to get a weight on the fish. Field & Stream has not been able to confirm the measurement of the gar. We’ve reached out to the angler and will update the story with more details about the catch as soon as they become available.
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Alligator gar are the largest species of gar and, according to Texas Parks & Wildlife (TPW), can grow to lengths in excess of 8 feet long and weigh over 300 pounds. Alligator gar can live for decades. They grow quickly when they’re young, but their growth rate slows with age—and a 7-foot specimen could be more than 40 years old. Adult alligator gar feed primarily on fish but have been known to eat birds, mammals, and other animals. In Texas, alligator gar are found in large rivers, reservoirs, and some coastal bays. Falcon Lake is considered to be something of a gar-fishing hot spot. The TPW maintains a daily bag limit of five alligator gar with no size restrictions for the waterbody.