HAMILTON, Miss. (WCBI) – Imagine hitting the river, and landing a gator that’s over 12 feet long and weighs over 600 pounds.
Well, that’s exactly what Bubba Mccandles, Ben Smith, and his five year old son Austin did over the weekend.
“When I first realized it was an alligator and seen the size of its head, I knew it was enormous,” said Ben Smith, who helped capture the reptile.
The big catch happened this past Saturday night.
The three Hamilton men loaded up their gear heading to the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway in Columbus eager to catch a gator, but never did they think they’d make a discovery this gigantic.
At first glance, Smith said he thought the alligator was a log because of how long it was, but he quickly realized it was a living animal.
“We turned the boat around and we went back and he spotted it with a spotlight,” Smith recalled. “We got back close enough to it to throw hooks at it, and of course we both missed it the first go around and it went under. We waited, and waited, and waited and it come back up. We got to throw at it again and hooked it the second go around and the fight was on.”
“He went to the bottom and we commenced to throw our throw-lines out, and try to get him up off of the bottom, get him caught so we can get him tagged,” said Bubba McCandless, who also helped catch the big gator.
With a reptile of that size, you can only imagine it wasn’t going to go out without a fight.
The gator drove the boat over 70 yards desperately trying to get away.
“It took probably 15 minutes or so before it quit running and started rolling, doing like a death roll,” Smith described. “Once he done that, he broke my line, and I had to get a hand line and got another hook in him. We fought him for a little while more until we finally got him to the boat where we could start trying to secure him to the boat to keep him from fighting us.”
After wrestling with the 12 foot long alligator for several hours the men finally had it captured.
However, there was still one problem, the gator was too big for the boat.
Smith said they had to call the game warden for some assistance in order for them to properly tag the animal.
“You have to tag the animal before you can remove it,” Smith explained. “Knowing we were going to have to drag it back to the boat ramp in the water we didn’t want to put a tag on it and take a chance of losing the tag.”
The men also received help from a few of their friends to help them transport the gator.
The animal has since been taken to a shop in Becker and is now being processed..
On Sunday night, Smith said two of their friends also caught an alligator in the Tenn-Tom Waterway as well.
As of September 10th, alligator hunting is officially over for this season in Mississippi.