A crew of Florida hunters boated an alligator of epic proportions over the weekend while hunting out of a small jon boat near Orlando, Florida. The massive reptile, hooked and killed by Captain Kevin Brotz of Get Bit Outdoors, weighed 900 pounds and measured 13 feet, three inches.
Brotz is an experienced alligator hunter who guides clients for big gators year round, mostly on private land. “This was kind of a special hunt,” he told Field & Stream. “It was just me and some friends going out for a fun hunt, which is rare. We spotted this guy about two hours into it. He was swimming away from us, and his back was massive, so we started throwing hooks at him.”
All three crew members were using large custom-made fishing rods with spin-casting reels. On the end of their lines were giant 12/0 trebel hooks designed for grabbing and holding onto incredibly thick gator hide. Brotz says all three crew members managed to snag the giant reptile, but it was so big that it wouldn’t budge off the bottom.
“Once we had three hooks into him and he still wasn’t moving, I knew we were dealing with a different beast,” says Brotz. “Our hearts were in our throats while we were waiting for him to wake up. When they’re that close, and they haven’t exhausted their energy reserves—that’s when things tend to get explosive.”
Eventually, Brotz got another size 20/0 trebel hook into the gator. That one was attached to a long rope he calls a handline. At one point during the battle, the massive gator exploded out of the water, Brotz says. “It porpoised two or three feet up into the air,” he says. “It looked like a blue whale when it breached.”
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The battle went on like that for the better part of four hours before the crew finally pulled the gator to the side of the boat and dispatched with a .357 bang stick. They had it weighed the following morning on a certified scale at a scrap yard in Orlando. “He’s the second heaviest ever killed in Florida and potentially in the entire United States,” says Brotz. “FWC contacted me when they heard the news. They agreed that it’s the second heaviest, and they said they’re working toward getting it certified.”
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