After three years of trying to land the big one, the Full Pull guys snatched it up over the weekend.
"We've been trying to kill it for three years," said Capt. Chris Wagner, who was hunting gators along with Andy Block and Doug Wagner. The three along with other family and friends fish throughout the year aboard the Full Pull.
"We saw it three or four weeks ago, so we decided to go and try it Saturday," Chris said.
They not only tried, but they got what they went for — a 12-foot, 9 inch 583-pound gator.
"It was just a really big nasty alligator," Chris said.
Hunting at Nancys Cut on the 18-foot flats boat near the Choctawhatchee River delta, they spotted the prized gator.
It was about 8 p.m. when they shot it with a crossbow.
"We had it on for about an hour before I could get a snatch hook in him," Chris said. "It ripped off all the line on the buoy. It was running all around the river for about an hour."
Using a cobia rod with a snatch hook, they got a second line on the gator.
"It went to the bottom," Chris said.
About a half-hour later, they were able to get a pier gaff in it which allowed them to "put some more heat on it," Chris said.
However, "the gator made a big roll and swirl and got off the pier gaff," he said. The gator had straightened the hook and got off.
So they shot the gator with another crossbow.
"We finally got a harpoon in it and got it under control and killed it with a bang stick," Chris said. "We were coming up on three hours before we got it …”
"It was one of the most amazing battles I've been in," Chris added.
Because he was too big for the boat, they drug the gator back to the docks and used the truck to pull it out of the water.
"We rolled it like a Tootsie Roll on to the finger dock, then back on to the boat," he said. "It was quite the spectacle."
They weighed the gator at the scales at Fishing Fleet Marina Sunday morning and it topped out at 583 pounds.
"That's our biggest one ever," Chris said. Last year they got a 9-footer that weighed about 200 pounds.