Lance Burgos was on a fishing trip in Louisiana with his daughter when he saw a sudden tugging on the line. And, understandably, Burgos then went to pull his catch to the surface. But when he did, he realized that he’d hooked a deadly beast from the deep.
Burgos is a keen fisherman. In fact, he is so dedicated to the pastime that he often posts videos about his water-based exploits on his eponymous YouTube channel. And in 2016 he shared his most popular update yet.
Burgos had taken the video in question at Lake Fausse Pointe State Park in Louisiana. The nearly 6,000-acre park sits in the Atchafalaya Basin, which happens to be America’s biggest swamp; for that reason, visitors are encouraged to make their way around the area by boat or along raised boardwalks.
Burgos, then, decided that he’d venture around the park on its waterways. And to make the trip even more special, he brought his 11-year-old daughter Evan along for the ride. The pair may not have realized at first, though, that this would turn out to be an excursion to remember for one terrifying reason.
As for why Burgos was in the area in the first place? Well, Lake Fausse Pointe happens to be a fishing hot spot for those in the know. Bass swim in the lake’s waters, for instance; perhaps, then, Burgos was looking forward to bagging himself a couple of large specimens.
Regardless of whether he got lucky, however, Burgos set up a GoPro on his kayak to record his adventure and subsequently share his experience with his subscribers on YouTube. And on this particular outing, the fisherman caught on camera the very moment that something unexpected grabbed onto the line.
In the video, Burgos uses a green pool noodle – an item commonly used while fishing in the American south – in an attempt to ensnare unsuspecting lake dwellers. Typically, the foam flotation device is attached to a submerged line; when the noodle is elevated, however, it indicates that something has been captured.
And Burgos’ excitement is plain to see when he realizes that his noodle has assumed a vertical position. He then pedals towards the contraption and yanks it out of the water. However, he has an altogether harder time lifting his catch.
It’s clear that the father and daughter pair have hooked a much larger than expected object. And in anticipation of the reveal, Burgos turns to Evan – who is behind him in the kayak – to tell her that he believes they’ve got something. However, he may have never guessed just what they had captured.
Then, as Burgos wrestles with the line, Evan reaches out a hand to help him. Doubt may have gotten the better of the father, though, as he warns his little girl to “be careful.” Taking heed of her dad’s warning, Evan therefore returns her arm to the safety of the kayak – a decision that may have saved her life.
Seemingly growing impatient to see his catch, Burgos goes on to give his line one almighty tug. However, as he does so, an enormous, gaping mouth appears from the depths, with a row of fearsomely sharp teeth lining the almighty jaws. In a shocking instant, it becomes clear that Burgos has unwittingly caught an alligator.
The revelation is met with screams of terror from Evan and a cry of “Oh my god!” from her father. And in order to flee the danger, Burgos begins to pedal away furiously. Finally, he gains enough distance from the predator, after which he looks back in the creature’s direction and exclaims, “That is a big ’gator.”
Following his brush with the alligator, Burgos begins to laugh in sheer relief. Evan fails to see the funny side, however, as she can be heard crying from the back of the kayak. Turning to another pair sailing nearby, she warns them of the gigantic reptile, “It’s bigger than your boat.”
But while Evan is clearly shaken by the incident with the alligator, the brush with the creature seems to have given Burgos a shot of adrenaline. “Holy cow, it was right by me,” he shouts across to the other boat, adding, “That’ll get your blood flowing.”
It’s not uncommon for people to spot alligators in the wild in the U.S., however; after all, the creatures are native to the southeast of the country. And alligators are particularly widespread throughout Florida and Louisiana – the latter state being the location of Lake Fausse Pointe.
American alligators’ natural habitat, meanwhile, is freshwater. As such, they can be found in wetlands, ponds, rivers, marshes, lakes and, of course, swamps. It would be fair to say, then, that Burgos and his daughter were in prime alligator territory.
The pair survived their near-miss with the beast from the deep, though. And Burgos even chose to talk to New Orleans newspaper The Times-Picayune about the ordeal. There, he said in 2016, “We saw some ’gators throughout the weekend – but nothing like what was on the end of that line. My daughter and I got back to camp, and when we went to bed, we both said, ‘We’re going to have nightmares about this.’”
Still, even if Burgos did go on to have bad dreams about the alligator, he nevertheless shared his run-in with the beast on YouTube. And, since then, the video has attracted close to ten million views and more than 3,700 comments. In short, the clip has become a viral sensation.
Writing in the caption section to the video, Burgos explained, “See what I found on a noodle near our campsite. It wasn’t what I expected. Kayaking and camping at Lake Fausse Pointe State Park, St. Martinville, LA, will never be the same.”
But while Burgos may have appeared rather blasé about his experience, YouTube users were at hand to remind him of how dangerous the incident could have been. “The moment when you warned your kid to not put [her] hands in the water might save [her] life. Congrats,” one person wrote.