565 pound gator caught in Florida

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Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 12:41pm

Two friends catch a 565 pound alligator in Florida

A pair of gator hunters in Florida will probably be talking about this one for a long time to come.

They tracked down a mammoth reptile they've been after for years.

And somehow managed to get all 565 pounds of it back to land.

Harris Woodsby  says, "It's a big gator. It's pretty rare to get one that big."

The biggest one yet for long-time friends Harris Woodsby and Mathew Fellows.

They've hunted and captured alligators together for more than 4 years.

"Long nights, lots of mosquito bites," says Woodsby.

You could almost call it a passion for the duo, a dangerous one.

"Every now and then he would come up and thrash around and we'd be holding onto the gaffe and it almost break our wrists when he starts spinning," explains Woodsby.

It all started one muggy night on the Kissimmee river.

They've eyed the 12 foot six inch beast once before and were determined not to let it slip away again.

"Two people, 565 pound alligator, there was no way we could get him in the boat. He just sat on the bottom, it was 20 feet deep," says Harris.

It was a 2.5 hour struggle for the pair as the nearly 600 pound gator thrashed around the boat.

"You know,a lot of strain and it was back breaking. We were cussing kinda the whole time," says Harris.

Three shots to the skull, they were able to subdue him.

Their next obstacle was getting it back to land.

With six miles ahead of them and a prize two times the weight of them and the boat combined, from behind they feared they would capsize.

Matt Fellows says, "We kept it going about two miles-an-hour. That was as fast as we could go."

With the help of a good friend the two outdoorsmen were able to secure the gator.

"It's a big time rush. I mean, I think that's what keeps us going back every year."

Harris already owns a wholesale seafood company in Orlando and is getting ready to open Jimmybelles, a seafood market named after his kids here in Lakeland.

He plans to display their gigantic prize front and center for all his customers to see.

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