When 19-year-old Tim Stroh first saw the alligator in the St. Lucie Canal, he wasn’t impressed, thinking it was “just” a nine-footer. He cast what his dad called a “puny bass rod” into the water and managed to reel in the giant animal that turned out to be five times his weight.
Stroh, his parents and a friend went out on a boat to hunt for it after hearing about the large gator sighted in the water. His family is in the taxidermy and hunting business, so catching gators was nothing new. Just not one of this size: 12 ft. 6 in. in length and weighing a hulking 800 lb. The family’s previous best was one weighing 400 lb.
The teenager fought to reel it in until he was able to stun it by hitting it with a “bang stick,” a tubelike gun used to subdue animals like sharks and gators. He and the friend then harpooned it and pulled it onto the boat.
The huge catch is nothing to sneeze at, but still small in comparison to the 2,370-lb. crocodile caught in the Philippines earlier this month.
No matter, the proud Stroh family plans to mount the enormous head in Tim’s bedroom, turn one of the legs into a lamp, make keychains out of the bony plates on its back and eat lots and lots of alligator steak.