Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Fish Story

Whether Brent Crawford has captured the world's largest alligator gar will never be known -- his scale bottomed out emphatically at 300 pounds and he filleted the prehistoric-looking fish after attempting to obtain its weight.

But this much is clear: The gar Crawford landed while bow-fishing recently in Texas' Lake Corpus Christie is among the largest specimens ever captured -- and it was captured in a manner like no other gar captured beforehand.

(The largest-known alligator gar caught while bow-fishing weighed 365 pounds. The largest caught on rod and reel weighed 279 pounds.)

Crawford, who has lived on the lake for 20 years, was alerted to the presence of several giant gar in a wide canal feeding into the lake: an enormous female swimming with about five smaller males.

His reaction, according to the Corpus Christie Caller Times, was simply: "Oh goodness. That fish right there was worth chasing."

The newspaper's outdoors columnist, David Sikes, produced a detailed accountof what transpired next. The following is a condensed version:

Crawford, with his fishing bow, stalked the great fish carefully, knowing he might only get one shot. 

When he finally fired, he scored a direct hit, unleashing the fury of the 8-foot, 2-inch beast, which created an explosion of mud and water before it ran toward the lake.

Big problem, because the nylon cord had become tangled at Crawford's feet, and when he grabbed the line, as it began to tighten, it became wrapped around his hand. 

The line went taut and the fish yanked the fisherman into the water headfirst. That's when Crawford's dog, Bleux, grabbed him by the cuff of the jeans, creating a bizarre riverbank tug-of-war.

Crawford ultimately was able to free his hand from the cord and stand knee-deep in the shallow canal, gripping his fishing bow, the cord still attached to the mighty fish. "There was no doubt who was in control and it wasn't me," the fisherman recalled.

The gar stole 200 feet of cord in a battle that lasted 45 minutes, before Crawford reeled it to the bank. Soaked and exhausted, the fisherman straddled the fish, reached for his cellphone -- which he had kept in a waterproof case -- and dialed a friend.

The friend arrived with a pistol, which resoundingly ended the struggle, and the two men used a rope and an ATV to drag the quarry to Crawford's house. 

It wasn't until after Crawford had carved up his catch that he learned the Texas bow-fishing record for alligator gar is 290 pounds, and the overall state record is 302 pounds.

Record or no record, it was a monstrous gar and one of the wildest angling feats in Texas history. It's a shame that there isn't a category for that.

Monday, June 18, 2012

This and That

A Few Things You Probably Didn't Know

1. In a study of 200,000 ostriches over a period of 80 years, no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried it's head in the sand. (Your working mans tax dollars at work?)

2. A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why. ( does anyone give a quack)

3. The "sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick" is said to be the toughest tongue twister in the English language. (easy for you to say)

4. The longest word to appear in an English language dictionary is "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis". (I knew that!)

5. Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over a million descendants, if none died in the meantime.

6. Most lipstick contains fish scales.

7. Like fingerprints, everyone's tongue print is different.

8. A shrimp's heart is in it's head. (I know people with similar problems)

9. In 10 minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all of the world's nuclear weapons combined. ( why don't we harness the wind? OH wait, we have tried. I'm told we have no place to store the energy.)

10. If the government has no knowledge of aliens, then why does Title 14, Section 1211 of the Code of Federal Regulations, implemented on July 16th, 1969, make it illegal for U.S. citizens to have any contact with extraterrestrials or their vehicles? (More working mans tax dollars at work?)

11. On average, 100 people choke to death on ballpoint pens every year. (Don't let the NYC Mayor find this out, he'll outlaw ballpoint pens. Do you have license for that pen? )

12.  Butterflies taste with their feet.  (Yuck, glad we don't do that. (have you tasted a good foot lately)