Alabama Teen May Have Just Set A State Record For This New Species Of Fish
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Alabama Teen May Have Just Set A State Record For This New Species Of Fish

One Alabama teen may have accidentally just set a state record. 17-year-old Gardner Love was just trying to relax when he caught a massive snook. It weighs 7 pounds and is 27 inches. He was fishing near Soldier Creek.

"It's not the biggest fish I've ever caught," Gardner Love, 17, an Elberta resident, said via New York Post. "We catch a lot bigger fish offshore, but I've never caught a state record before - so this is definitely one for the books."

Love is waiting for Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to officially certify the accomplishment. However, the Alabama teen is already excited. "I wasn't really fishing for the snook," Love said. "I was fishing for whatever it was biting, trout or redfish. The weather was nice. It had been raining for a few days and it was finally starting to clear up, so I thought I'd just take the boat out for a little while because I didn't have anything else to do."

Love has been fishing since he was a child, but this was the first time he's closing in on a state record. "I was back in the back of the creek, and it's a spot that I normally don't fish," Love said. "It's like a big grassland back there, a big marsh, and there was a little tree hanging over, right there on the edge of the marsh."

Alabama Teen Details Fishing Experience

Love reenacted how he caught the snook. The Alabama teen said he got his lure snagged. "I yanked it, and it fell on the water," Love said. "As soon as it hit the water, the fish blew up on it through water and into the air. And at first, I thought it was a tarpon. I didn't think it was a snook at all until I got midway through fighting and it jumped out of the water and I saw it."

Love struggled to figure out what kind of fish it was. The water was cloudy, and it was difficult to see.

"I got up really close and was probably about waist-deep in the water," Love said. "I didn't have a net on the boat because I wasn't expecting to catch anything that big. Usually, I'll just slip them [into] the boat on the line. But I saw that he was barely hooked when I got him up next to the boat."

His father immediately knew the Alabama teen had something special. "I knew I'd had something right when I hooked up," he said.  "As soon as I got the fish in the boat, I called my dad. By the time I got back to the dock, it was only a two-minute ride away — he was already waiting down there for me and he said, 'You got the state record.' He was really excited."

The current official snook record is  5 pounds, 2.6 ounces.