Last Sept. 10, Don Henson of Southaven went fishing at the Sardis Lake spillway for a catfish dinner, but instead ended up taking a bite out of a couple of record books.

The 48-pound, 1-ounce longnose gar he reeled to the bank was not only a new state record but also a world record, according to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks that recently certified the catch.

It broke the previous world mark recognized by the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame for longnose gar on “unlimited line class” by 34 pounds. The previous state record was 40 pounds.

Henson was using a shad drifting in the current, and 10 minutes after his cast he noticed his float had disappeared and he found himself engaged with a large fish. 

“I just knew I had the biggest catfish at the end of my line,” Henson said. “We fought and fought and after about 15 minutes I had the fish at the edge.”

This was no catfish, and a discouraged Henson was instead looking at a lot of teeth and a whole lot of gar. A passerby said it might be worth checking it against the record books.

It was.