A monster-size alligator caught bare-handed by two anglers in the St. John’s River over the weekend could be a new state record.
For several months, Florida anglers Keith Kelley and Kelly Sziy have been scouting a behemoth gator nicknamed “Lumpy”. On Sunday morning, they captured Lumpy in four feet of water using nothing but some rope, a few hooks and a lot of elbow grease.
“He got close enough to where I guess he couldn’t withstand the bait. Finally, it was just his night,” Keith Kelley told local news.
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The pair spent five hours bringing the massive gator back to shore, where they weighed and measured it. The gator topped the scales at 765 pounds and measured nearly 13.5 feet in length. The catch could be the largest alligator ever caught by hand in the state of Florida. Fish and Wildlife are reviewing the catch to determine if it’s an official record.
Whether or not the gator is a record, it’s certainly a rarity, according to Florida gator expert Jim Barlington.
“Usually when people say they’ve seen a large alligator, it’s usually around 11 feet or so. So, 13 feet, close to 13 1/2 feet is certainly rare,” Barlington said.
Florida’s gator hunting season runs through November.