Less than 12 hours into South Carolina’s 2012 alligator season, another oversized reptile got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time in Georgetown County. The father-and-son hunting team of Hunter and Ray Frady of Columbia, guided by Tommy Scarborough and Dan Scarborough of Georgetown Coastal Adventures, took a 12-footer on Sept. 8, the first day of the season.
The gator is the biggest taken by any member of the Frady family; Ray and his oldest son, Sean, had taken 10-footers during the 2011 season. Hunter got bragging rights with this huge gator, which along with compromising weather, gave the team of hunters a run for their money in the Santee Delta.
Cruising the area’s rivers and fighting wind gusts that reached 30 mph, the Fradys and Scarboroughs passed up several 7-footers before the 12-foot beasts appeared, all stretched out on a muddy shoal along the main part of the Santee River.
“Tommy (said he) had noticed this one before while scouting,” Hunter Frady said.
Tommy Scarborough immediately grabbed a heavy duty fishing rod and cast a heavy treble hook over the gator’s back, snagging it, then handing the rod to Hunter Frady for the one-hour battle.
“The gator hit the water like a torpedo, and the fight was on, “says Hunter.
After 30 minutes, the reel seat snapped, and the reel popped off the rod. The Scarborough brothers were able to cut the line and splice it onto another rod-and-reel combo spooled with 65-pound test line without losing any ground to their gator.
“Tommy was so excited, he really didn’t want this to lose this gator,” Hunter Frady said.
After another 20 minutes, Dan Scarborough put another treble hook into the gator’s back, and a few minutes later, the gator came to the surface. Tommy Scarborough buried two harpoons in the gator’s head, gaining control of the animal. When the opportunity arose, Ray Frady put two 9mm slugs into the gator’s skull, and Tommy Scarborough added a third one, finally ending the battle.
“I felt like we had him down, but Tommy put one last round into his head for good measure before we put him in the boat,” Ray Frady said. “Tommy and Dan are true experts, and we look forward to hitting the water again next year with these guys.”