RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina fisherman was in for the surprise of his life after he thought he was reeling in a large mouth bass at a lake this weekend, only to find that what was on the end of his line was a 5-foot long alligator.
He captured video of his catch as he reeled the gator to shore at Falls Lake, near Raleigh.
LOOK: Viewer send in pictures of alligator on Lake Wylie
He kept the gator on the line as he called wildlife officers, but it broke loose before they arrived.
WATCH: Fisherman reels in gator at N.C. lake
“When I realized I had something different is the weight of it and the way it grabbed it. I caught whatever it was, and that's when I come to realize, reeling it in, it was an alligator,” said Stephen Rhodes.
Experts say it’s unusual to find alligators that far north and inland. Last month, Channel 9 reported on sightings of an alligator spotted at Lake Wylie. A man and his son saw the 2-foot-long reptile near Copperhead Island while kayaking.
A wildlife biologist told Channel 9 it was likely captured illegally as a baby and dropped into the lake when it became too big.