Child catches bizarre-looking fish in Tempe lake

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PHOENIX -- Jose Chavez proudly holds his trophy catch.

Alligator gar pulled out of Tempe lake
azfamily.com

"I see fish like this on the Discovery Channel," he said.

But certainly not at Kiwanis Lake in Tempe.

Jose and his father fish there frequently. The night they caught what appears to be an alligator gar they had tried out a new kind of bait -- real chicken liver.

Little did they know what the new bait would attract.

"His pole was bending," Jose said. "His snout barely came out and I said, 'Oh shoot!"

They knew right away it wasn't the usual catfish catch.

"Cuz I was about to put my hand in there and go get it and he said, 'No! Look at the teeth on that!"

The gar kept snapping at them with razor sharp teeth so Jose decided to leave the hook in the gar's mouth.

"Weird looking. Looked like a snake. My dad thought it was a snake. He said, 'Damn, looks like a snake mixed with an alligator."

The odd catch is attracting a lot of attention -- and Arizona Game and Fish officials are interested.

Gars are prohibited in Arizona. They're not even allowed in tanks at home.

They're considered voracious predators.

Jose's father plans to bring the gar to Fish and Game officials who hope this is the only gar fishermen will bring in from the Tempe lake.