Two local men out hunting alligators had no idea that they would catch the biggest gator of them all.
The almost 800 pound gator was caught in Gulf County, but brought back to Bay County to be cleaned and processed.
“We caught a few small ones and noticed a bigger one, and by the time we got on it, we never noticed how big it actually was,” said Brandon Barfield, one of the men who caught the large alligator.
The gator is 12 feet long and 750 pounds. It was caught Sunday morning around 3:30 a.m. Brandon Barfield and Brandon Cutchins never expected a catch this big. They said they originally set out looking for alligators about 5 or 6 feet long, but that all quickly changed
“We decided to try one more place and we ended up seeing this guy,” said Brandon Cutchins, the other man who caught the alligator.
With a rod and reel and a Jon boat, the two men were on a mission to catch the massive gator, no matter what. They were in the ICW in Gulf County when they encountered the large gator.
“We finally snagged the alligator and it was on like Donkey Kong there,” said Barfield. However, catching this alligator would not be an easy task.
“He fought so hard. We finally got him up to the boat, got him with a harpoon, put a couple big snatch hooks in him. The first thing we saw was his tail. But his tail, that didn’t do him any justice. Once we got the other hook in him and saw his head, we were more or less scared than we were happy at this moment,” said Barfield.
The battled it on the rod and reel for about 30 minutes until finally spearing it with the harpoon. The two said it took about a total of four hours to get the alligator back to shore. They said it was obviously too big for the boat and tried alternative ways to carry it back. At first they said they tried floating it on life jackets, then strapped it to the side of the boat before finally getting a tow assist.
Both Barfield and Cutchins have their proper permits and tags to hunt alligators during the season. This was the first alligator for both men.
The two said it’s a catch they’ll never forget. “We’re going to eat the meat and probably get some things made out of the hide and mount the head,” said Cutchins.
Alligator hunting season started August 15th and goes until November 1st.