12-foot, 3-inch gator caught in Florida

Sept. 20, 2011 at 3:44 PM
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HOBE SOUND, Fla., Sept. 20 (UPI) -- A Florida 19-year-old hunting alligators with his parents managed to reel in a 12-foot, 3-inch reptile weighing about 800 pounds.

Tim Stroh of Hobe Sound said he was out with his parents, Steve and Rachel Stroh of Southern Life Taxidermy and Guide Service, Friday evening after hearing reports of a large alligator near the locks of the St. Lucie River, TCPalm.com reported Tuesday.

Stroh said it took them less than an hour to locate the beast and he hooked the gator with his bass rod after his father missed a cast with a far-sturdier rod.

"I thought it was just a 9-footer," Tim Stroh said. "Then I saw how big it was. I was more afraid we would lose it than I was of the gator, because of the rod."

Stroh said he managed to reel the gator in next to the boat and they used harpoons to hoist the large reptile onto the craft.

"It's the largest gator I've seen since I started guiding hunts in 1989," Steve Stroh said. "The processor we went to in Loxahatchee said it's the biggest they've ever handled."

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