Boys catch Alligator Gar in Buffalo Bayou

HOUSTON – When 13-year-old Jake Berlin went to his usual fishing spot this weekend along the Buffalo Bayou near downtown, he wasn't catching anything until suddenly, his line jerked.

Then, he was wrestling with his biggest catch yet.  He had reeled in a four-foot Alligator Gar.


“This is the biggest fish in my life!” Berlin can be heard telling his friend in the video he took with a GoPro camera he clips to his chest. “Careful with him!”

Berlin is a student at Presbyterian Middle School. He's also a Houston champion wrestler and an avid fisherman.

“It jumped and we saw how big it was and we were really excited,” Berlin said.

The boys can be seen with the alligator gar at 3:00

It was Jake's dream catch. We went to the Houston Downtown Aquarium to ask an expert about this fish 

“They are really heavy, really strong fish so the fact that someone was able to catch one that size is pretty remarkable," said Orran Bierstein, a Houston Downtown Aquarium biologist.

Bierstein says an Alligator Gar’s sharp teeth are no joke. The bones in their head are fused together, giving them extra strength to clamp down on their prey. 

It’s best, Bierstein says, to look at Alligator Gar from a distance.

Alligator Gar get their name from their alligator looking snout and mouth full of teeth.

A Katy man who posts video on YouTube under “The Fish Whisperer” caught and released a nearly eight-foot-long, and more than 200-pound Alligator Gar back into the Trinity River two weeks ago.  

The fish can top out over eight feet and weigh more than 300 pounds.  

After Jake captured his big bayou catch on video, he let the Alligator Gar go, but he had one whale of a tale to tell his friends.