Florida Man Catches 800-Pound Gator with Fishing Pole

Uses "puny bass rod," then bang stick

A Florida man with a mere fishing pole reeled in a big one that didn't get away: a 12-foot, 800-pound alligator.

Tim Stroh, 19, whose parents run Southern Life Taxidermy and Guide Service in Hobe Sound, caught the monster with what his father described as a "puny bass rod." Father, son, mom and a pal were out on their gator boat on the St. Lucie River, pursuing a rumor of a giant alligator that hung out by the locks. Within an hour, they spotted it.

"I thought it was just a 9-footer," Tim Stroh told TCPalm.com. "Then I saw how big it was."

The 12-foot, 3-inch alligator took the bait, according to WPTV. And as Stroh battled it boatside, he realized its immense size. Its tail alone was as thick as his waist, according to TCPalm.com. Once it was at the gunwale, Stroh hit the alligator with a "bang stick," a .44-caliber gun shell on a stick.

"I had adrenaline pumping through me and I was just like, 'Oh my God,'" Stroh told WESH.com. The alligator "came up and he was popping his jaw and stuff."

Once on land, four more friends joined to help carry the alligator, which was missing one of its back legs, into the family's truck.

"We have a big box cooler we normally would put a gator into, but he wouldn't fit. We had to keep him in the truck overnight and throw in ice to keep him cool," Tim said.

They have plans for the whole beast.

"I'm gonna mount the head for him so he can put it in his room," Steve told WPTV.

Rachel Stroh said she will make a lamp from the gator's back leg; the family has plans to make keychains from the gator's bony back; and there is 250 pounds of gator meat in their freezers.

Contact Us