How big? An estimated 300-pound alligator gar in a Houston bayou.
SUGAR LAND, Texas — Off the beaten path at the foot of Brazos River, Payton Moore is more than just an avid angler.
“YouTube fisherman is kind of the unofficial title, but at the end of the day, I’m a conservation educator,” Moore said.
He used to be an educator at the Houston Zoo and has the kind of equipment built to reel in monsters.
“Really, really big … the kind of gear you’d see for big game fishing and saltwater environments,” Moore said.
It was just about a week ago when he caught what he said is unofficially one of the biggest freshwater fish caught on a rod and line in Texas.
“It was kind of a once-in-a-lifetime catch,” he said.
And it’s definitely, he said, the biggest caught on camera. It’s no wonder his latest YouTube post has gone viral.
“People started messaging me that they were seeing my video on Twitter,” Moore said.
The video features Moore on the banks of a Houston bayou locked in a 15-minute battle.
“Every time he lurches forward it’s like he’s going to pull me in the water,” you can hear Moore say in the video posted on his “WILD LIFE” channel.
It turned out to be an eight-foot-long, 300-pound alligator gar — which he caught and released.
“Absolute dinosaur,” he says in the video.
“There are only a couple of fish that have been recorded in the last 50 to 60 years – verifiably recorded – that have reached that size,” Moore said.
But he said that’s the problem.
“It should be that many, many alligator gar reach that size,” Moore said.
He hopes his channel can educate and change peoples’ perspectives – trying to relate the life of such an incredible fish to history.
“This fish would have lived through the revolution of the 60s, would have lived through the rise and fall of The Beatles,” Moore said.
Moore said he hopes people will see his channel and understand that fish are vital to our ecosystem and our lives.
“You don’t put a dent in an environment without feeling it down the road in an exponential way,” Moore said.
Moore isn’t divulging where he caught the fish for its protection. The alligator gar video currently has over 160,000 views.