It took six men and a forklift to pull the gator out of the water.
Coastal Mississippi probably isn't the first place most people would expect to produce an animal that could make national news. However, they don't call it "The Secret Coast" for nothing.
Derrick Saucier of Pascagoula and Jarrod Davis of Hurley went hunting in the Mary Walker Bayou on the opening day of alligator season in hopes of spotting an alleged monster locals had reportedly been seeing.
They left the boat launch around 11:30 a.m. Friday, August 30, and spotted the gator as soon as 11:55 a.m.
It was everything the claims had cracked it up to be at an eye-popping 13 feet, 6 inches and a whopping 797 pounds.
The massive gator didn't miss the state record by much, either, but it still stands at 822 pounds.
Saucier told GulfLive.com in an interview that they took the gator to the Parkers Lake weigh station within the Pascagoula Wildlife Management Area to have state wildlife officials weigh it.
"Measuring the belly girth and tail girth, it's actually bigger that the state-record gator," he said.
The standing state record was shorter at 13 feet, 1/2 inch, and boasted a 65-inch girth and a 48-inch tail based, as opposed to Saucier and Davis' gator which had a 72-inch girth and 48-inch tail base.
Saucier and Davis experienced serious difficulty in handling their harvest, as they spent more than an hour trying to get it in the boat with the help of four other men. Once they realized that wasn't going to work, they had to drag it back and use a borrowed forklift to get it out of the water.
"We were pretty exhausted," Saucier said. "During the whole battle, we really couldn't get anything to drink and ti's 90 degrees out and we're in a hot aluminum boat. It wasn't until we were able to secure it with the first snare line and two or three hooks that we were finally able to sit back and drink some water."
He also said they plan to make a full-body mount to commemorate the dinosaur-like reptile, and intend to share the haul of gator meat with their family and friends.
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