"This is our third year of guiding for gators, but I've never seen anything like this one," guide Kevin Davis said of the 13-foot, 4 ½-inch gator. "The girth on the belly measured 79 inches, and it looked to me like you could have fit a 55-gallon drum in it, and the same goes for the base of his tail – it was just an unusually large specimen."
Putting in at Black's Camp in Cross, the trio of hunters set out at 8 a.m. for a full day's hunt. Driving into the cut of the diversion canal near the Santee Cooper lakes, Davis spotted the big gator at 8:10.
"As many times as I've used this cut, I had never seen this giant before, and we were literally hooked up using a snatch hook by 8:10 a.m.," Davis said.
Using three different rods and reels rigged with snatch hooks, they battled the big fella for two hours, with the gator staying close to the bank during the entire fight. The gator kept using overhanging trees like wax myrtles to rub off the snatch hooks. At one point it managed to break free of all the lines, but Davis had more rods ready and the South Carolina Sportsman field reporter kept his clients in the game.
Eventually they employed two harpoons, a snout snare and eight pistol shots to subdue the beast, with a final coups de gras coming from a huge Bowie knife that was slammed between the vertebrae to make sure it would not fight when being tied to the side of the 24-foot Ranger boat Davis uses.
"We were back at the landing by about 10:30 a.m., and we used a backhoe to life the gator out of the water," Davis said. "We took him to 301 Taxidermy in Florence and used their 5,000-pound calibrated scale to verify his weight at 1,025-pounds.
"The Christians are getting the head mounted as a trophy."
To see another photo of the gator and to read the hunt report Kevin Davis filed on the Sportsman website click here.
Click here to read more about how big alligators can be caught.