Mark Fletcher, of Palmetto, tagged a monster gator from Georgia’s side of Lake Eufaula in the early hours of Monday morning, Sept. 21.
Mark and fellow hunters knew there was a big gator in a specific area after a 12-footer was caught nearby that had a relatively fresh 10-inch bite mark on its tail.
“We went looking and were lucky enough to kill what we believe to be the gator that caused the bite mark on the one previously caught,” said Mark.
Mark’s alligator measured 13-feet, 10-inches long and weighed between 800 and 900 pounds.
“Four grown men tried lifting him in the boat and were unsuccessful,” said Mark.
Mark had spent the previous four weeks hunting a different monster gator, but it proved to be elusive and practically uncatchable. A friend of Mark’s who is a guide tagged out on a 10-foot gator earlier in the season and decided to help Mark.
After passing up many smaller alligators, Mark hooked his monster gator on a rod and reel with a big treble hook. An epic battle took place that lasted more than an hour before the group was able to get him beside the boat. They were able to finally get another hook and heavier lines attached to the gator; a couple of harpoon points later, and he was finally completely under control.
“This was truly a hunt and a trophy of a lifetime for me,” said Mark. “There aren’t many big gators left.”
Mark thanks a local gator guide, who wishes to remain anonymous, for his help and expertise.
Georgia’s alligator hunting season is strictly regulated, and only 970 permits were issued this year through a quota-hunt process. It typically takes four or more priority points—earned when a quota-hunt application isn’t selected—before a hunter will draw a Georgia alligator tag.
WRD Game Management Biologist Greg Waters said he’s had more than 130 gators reported this season.
Last season 238 gators were taken, and the longest measuring gator was 13-feet, 3-inches in length.
With time left before the season closes on Oct. 5, 2015, Greg is sure there is more to come.
“Hunters are becoming more selective when hunting alligators now, especially since tags are hard to get from season to season,” said Greg.
Mark’s alligator is the largest GON has heard about so far and could end up being the largest gator taken this season.