Catch Of A Lifetime

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 2:56pm

Alligator trapper bags massive beast.

Most of Florida's nuisance alligators are small, in the four to six foot range, but P.J. Gaither landed a big one that was nearly 13 feet long.

The big catch happened Sunday in Oceanway, in waters where construction workers also need water access.

That is why the state issued a permit for the gator to be captured.

"We had a couple of attempts on this gator. At one point, we did put a hook into him, he just kept going and kept going. There was nothing slowing him down," said Gaither when recounting the three-hour struggle with the gator.

The gator has since been processed for its meat, which the state allows to help compensate trappers who are only paid $30 for gators they capture dead or alive.

Gaither estimates that this gator weighed nearly 900 pounds and may have been 50 years old.

The first-year trapper never expected to catch a gator this big.

"It was such a rare opportunity," said Gaither.
 

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