September 20, 2011 at 2:45 PM CDT - Updated June 25 at 11:18 AM
HOBE SOUND, FL (WFLX) - Tim Stroh of Hobe Sound has been hunting alligators with his mom and dad for five years. Over the weekend, he reeled in the catch of a lifetime.
Stroh and his family and a friend were boating in the St. Lucie County Canal when they saw a huge gator just before a bridge. "I've just never seen a gator that big and so close," said Tim.
"When I saw how big it was, it even intimidated me," added Tim's dad, Steve.
With his bass fishing rod, he tossed his line and the 800 pound alligator chomped down.
Tim has a slender build, but don't let that fool you. He managed to pull the gator beside the boat.
When he realized how big it was he hit the beast with a bang stick... a .44 caliber gun shell on a stick.
He harpooned the 12' 3" reptile with the help of a friend and pulled it into their boat.
They have permits and alligator hunting season runs until November 1.
The gator is now being stored in the family's freezer.
Tim's dad Steve is a taxidermist as well as an alligator hunter. "I'm gonna' mount the head for him so he can put it in his room."
Although the trophy was impressive, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say there have been bigger catches. The longest gator in Florida was more than 14 feet and the heaviest more than 1,000 pounds.
The biggest gator the family had caught to date was 400 pounds.