Stunned fishermen catch 'living fossil' creature from species older than dinosaurs and take it home
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A father and son managed to catch a whopper of a fish from a species that's older than the dinosaurs - setting a new state record in the process.
Keith Dees and son Huntley from the US spent their Thanksgiving morning last year the same way they always do - by going fishing.
The duo headed for the Raft River in Mobile-Tensaw Delta, Alabama and quite literally got the shock of their lives.
After already bagging a number of redfish and largemouth bass, the father managed to catch something much bigger.
At 11.30, the duo 'decided to fish one more spot'.
"I made a cast and about half way back to the boat my chatterbait just went slack," the father wrote on Facebook.
"Reeling as fast as I could, I got it tight just before I saw a big fish swim by my trolling motor."
The pair spent two and a half hours fighting with the gigantic beast before managing to pull it onto their boat.
They managed to catch an alligator gar, a species that was still alive 35 million years before the last dinosaurs went extinct.
Gar fossils trace back to the Early Cretaceous over 100 million years ago and have retained some physical features of their early ancestors, such as a spiral valve intestine, which is also common to the digestive system of sharks, and the ability to breathe both air and water.
After officially weighing the creature at Orange Beach Marina, the duo were delighted to learn that it broke a state record coming in at 162.0 lbs.
Dees requested permission from officials to take home the creature and eat it with his son.
“When it comes up, I knew it was big, but I didn’t even remotely know it was a state record,” Dees told Outdoor Alabama.
“That never crossed my mind.
"I love to cook, so I thought I want to catch this joker so we can eat him.
"I’ve got a bunch of Cajun friends, and they take it and cut it in steaks and blacken it and do medallions.
"It’s just delicious. I’m thinking I’m about to get a bunch of freezer meat."
Dees was delighted with his son's reaction to breaking the record, adding: "Seeing the excitement on Tommy’s face and his staff because of a new state record put it in perspective.
"They just wanted to know the fish were out there and are healthy.
"The Delta is a very, very special place to me. Catching that fish doesn’t happen if I hadn’t spent my whole life on the water.
"I was known as a river rat by all my bass fishing buddies that I traveled to tournaments with, and they said there was nothing more appropriate for me than to have a state record with a gar."
Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Keith Dees
Topics: US News