A Maryland man broke a state record last week after reeling in a 17.9-pound longnose gar, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources confirmed.
David Confair was fishing at Marshyhope Creek in Dorchester County with his friend when he felt a big tug to his line.
“Get the net. This is a big fish,” Confair yelled to his friend, WJZ reported.
Confair had been out fishing for blue catfish after hearing reports of their large size in the area. However, when he began to reel in his catch, he saw it was actually a longnose gar.
The 44-year-old fisherman pulled out the gar, which has been traced back to prehistoric times, and was surprised by the size.
Confair brought the fish in for an official weight at Kool Ice and Seafood Company in Cambridge, where it rang in at 17.9 pounds — 0.9 pounds more than the state record set in 2011, UPI reported.
Confair said he kept the longnose gar alive for two days and returned it to the water.
“I’m hoping to set a bigger record,” he added.
Longnose gars typically grow to about 4 feet. In 2017, a Mississippi man set a longnose gar world record with his catch that weighed in at 48 pounds and 60 inches long.