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One Great Big Catch!

Posted by Benjamin Dona on Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 at 2:49pm.

There is not a day that goes by while I am out showing clients properties when the question arises about alligators in the various waterways. Naturally, I give them all the same stern warning about what to expect and remind them they must be sure to keep children and small pets away from the waters unattended. Having been here for 14 years now and being an avid outdoorsman (fishing, camping and trekking), I've seen my fair share of both alligators and crocodiles in the wild. And, unfortunately, we've had more than a few fatalities and mutilations over the years.

So, when I saw this item in the newspaper this morning, I thought you all might like to see it. Seems a guy up in the Orlando area was out on the last day (November 1st) of alligator hunting season on Lake Washington and snagged a state record catch. It measured 14 feet, 3 1/2 inches in length and weighed 654 pounds. The previous record was 14 feet, 5/8-inch. It was also a little shy of the heaviest weight record, which is 1,043 pounds dating back to 1989 on a gator taken from Orange Lake just south of Gainesville.

I hope this post/photo will help drive home the point of my warnings that in Florida, you must always be aware of your surroundings.

Record Setting Florida Alligator

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7 Responses to "One Great Big Catch!"

Brent Mitchell wrote:
Good lord!!! That is one big beast! You said there have been fatalities; have you or any of your clients ever had an 'incident' with a gator?

Posted on Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 at 7:41pm.

Benjamin wrote:
Terry and I have only had one run in with a frisky gator. We were in our 13 foot Gheenu (a squared off canoe with a 3 HP engine on it) fishing in the backwaters of Spring Creek.

We saw a 10 footer sunning itself on the bank. After about 20 minutes or so of fishing, it jumped into the water and headed right for our boat. It got within about 20 feet or so and I cranked up the engine and we moved down the creek about 100 or so yards.

The gator followed us and again came right at the boat. So, I moved again. This game continued until he had chased us all the way back to the dock (about 2 miles). We got out of the boat and the gator proceeded to stay right off the dock area swimming in circles.

We waited about 45 minutes or so and then gave up. Damned thing ruined a good fishing day for us.

Posted on Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 at 9:01pm.

Curtis Reddehase wrote:
I wonder how many people actually consider what it is like to live with these when they buy a home in Florida.

Posted on Friday, November 12th, 2010 at 7:01pm.

Benjamin wrote:
Not as many as you would think or expect.

Posted on Friday, November 12th, 2010 at 7:17pm.

Barbara Houston wrote:
I lived north of Tampa back in the 90s and never saw one of these, but my neighbors said that one had crossed the street in our small subdivision early one morning. My husband used to go out jogging and as I recall, he said he saw one too. (Probably helped him to jog a little faster!)

Posted on Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 at 1:30am.

Janie Miller wrote:
I cringe at the thought of rattlesnakes here in Austin. You're supposed to be still. What do you do when you come across one of these guys? Don't know if I could out run it.

Posted on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 at 1:40pm.

Benjamin wrote:
Give them a wide berth for sure!

They are capable of short bursts of speed (for 10 to 20 yards) and can raise themselves up out of the water by several feet.

Mostly, they will leave you alone if you do not get too close.

The thing is to always be aware of your surroundings here in paradise.

Posted on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 at 3:35pm.

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