An alligator snapping turtle makes for an exciting by-catch!
Almost every fisherman or woman is bound to catch something they are not intending sooner or later. It happens to even the best of anglers. In most instances people simply catch a fish species they were not expecting. However, every so often, an angler catches something that is not a fish that takes them completely by surprise.
How each person reacts to these catches depends on how frightened you are of the scaly inhabitants of your local watering hole.
In this video, these anglers are out hoping to catch some monster catfish in a small local river. The fishing turns out to be a little slow on this trip. Things are kept exciting when one of them hooks into something unexpected, an alligator snapping turtle, and it is not happy to have been hooked!
There is a catch you do not see every day! Alligator snapping turtles have notoriously short tempers and they will latch onto a human if given the chance. Fortunately, that did not happen here, and the anglers were able to keep all their digits around the cranky terrapin.
Catching a snapping turtle is something of a risk you run every time you fish a prime turtle habitat. I have hooked a few common snappers by mistake up here in Michigan over the years. It always makes for one heck of surprise when you see that big shell surface. Then comes the problem of unhooking them. We are not sure what these guys did here, but the turtle swam off seemingly none the worse for wear.
Alligator snapping turtles are incredible survivors. This species was on the planet 90 million years ago which means these reptiles watched the dinosaurs come and go from this planet! The individual turtles themselves also live to a ripe old age. The oldest captive specimens have lived to more than 70 years old, but scientists believe that 200 is not out of the question for a wild turtle.
It is not every day you can say you caught a dinosaur while fishing, but these guys now have a great fishing story and video to share with their buddies about doing just that!