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Man catches 12 foot alligator with fishing rod

9:10 AM, Sep 20, 2011   |    comments
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Over the weekend, he reeled in the catch of a lifetime.

Stroh and his family along with 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," Stroh said.

"When I saw how big it was it even intimidated me," added Stroh's's dad, Steve.

With his bass fishing rod, he tossed his line and the 800 pound alligator chomped down.

Stroh 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-foot, 3-inch-long reptile with the help of a friend and pulled it into their boat.

They have permits, and alligator hunting season runs until Nov.1.

The gator is now being stored in the family's freezer.

Stroh's 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," he said.

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 weighed more than 1,000 pounds.

The biggest gator the family had caught to date was 400 pounds.

"I am going to try and catch a bigger one, that's all you can do," Stroh said.

(Copyright © 2011 NBC Universal, All Rights Reserved)

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