Angler catches a handful

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APRIL 27 A college student was fishing with a friend recently when he reeled in more than he could handle.

Justin Rackley, 20, was fishing on a lake in Grapevine, Texas, when he noticed something strange near some rocks on the bank, the Star-Telegram newspaper reported. When Rackley cast his line in its direction he was surprised to learn that what he was looking at was an alligator.

“It flipped out and got hooked in the tail,” Rackley says in the report.

Rackley fought the reptile as it neared his boat and thrashed about in the water, the report says. When the alligator tired, Rackley, a tournament bass fisherman, reeled it in near the boat and unhooked it.

“When I unhooked him, he swam off just fine,” he says in the report. Rackley, who has reportedly fished the lake at least twice a week for three years, says he had never heard of an alligator on the lake before.

— Jason Fell