Custom Search

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Florida teenager lands a monster 12ft, 800lb alligator... with little more than a puny fishing rod (and a load of determination)

Monster catch: Tim Stroh managed to land this 12ft, 800lb alligator using a simple fishing rod... then his arms and legs, a .44-calibre rifle round, and finally a harpoon gun. It still doesn't seem like enough

Professional gamblers would not have put their money on Florida teenager Tim Stroh coming out on top in his latest Friday-night fight.

The 19-year-old college student has a wiry frame, stands 6ft 3in and weighs 160lb.

His opponent was a life-long killer, standing 12ft 3in tall and weighing a mighty 800lb.

However, despite being half the height and a fifth of the weight, Tim hung in there and came out victorious - bagging one of the biggest alligators in the state.

The unbelievable fishing trip began on Friday evening, when Tim accompanied his mother and father, Rachel and Steven, on one of their regular gator hunts with a family friend, Rusty Griffenberg.

It wasn't too long into their hunt when they came upon the Florida monster, near an Interstate highway interchange.

Mr Griffenberg was the first to cast a special alligator rod, but the creature didn't take the bait.

Tim was only armed with what his father called 'his puny bass rod' - but Tim thought he'd give it a go anyway.

Posing up: Tim kneels next to his catch with the 'puny bass rod' he used to hook it. Behind him are family friend Rusty Griffenberg, left, and Tim's father Steven - who were both with Tim when his fishing tale started

Proud hunter: Tim continues his photo opportunity, this time with friend Brittany Snyder. And, yes, that is a knife sharpener propping up the alligator's mouth

Smile! Tim's mother Rachel doesn't pass up an opportunity to have her photo taken with the gator, and hanging the beast from top to tail shows the massive height and weight difference that Tim had to overcome

And so began a David-and-Goliath struggle, until Tim managed to pull the far-bigger and far-heavier gator towards the boat.

Tim told TCPalm.com: 'I thought it was just a nine-footer. Then I saw how big it was. I was more afraid we would lose it than I was of the gator.

'I wasn't just pulling him in with my arms, I was using my legs. It was hard.' But he added: 'He had a lot of character, and I had a lot of fun.'

When the gator was in a manageable position, Tim hit it with a bang stick - a .44-caliber rifle round mounted on a stick - which stuns the animal.

Then he and Mr Griffenberg harpooned it before it was finally able to be pulled into the boat.

Steve Stroh, who runs the Southern Life Taxidermy and Guide Service with his wife, has seen more than the average man's share of fearsome alligators.

Yet he said: 'It's the largest gator I've seen since I started guiding hunts in 1989. The processor we went to in Loxahatchee said it's the biggest they've ever handled.'

Tims father plans to mount the 28in x 14in head, and tan the hide for his son.

Nothing will go to waste, as wife Tim's mother is making a lamp from a back leg, and 250lb of edible gator meat sits in freezers awaiting the frying pan.

The Strohs even plan to make keychains from the bony plates of the gator's back ridges.

And any undesirable characters in Hobe Sound area may want to take note of young Stroh, who currently studying criminal justice at Indian River State College.

Once you've wrestled with a 12ft alligator, staring down a local criminal or two would seem a lot less intimidating.

Snap: The location of the monumental catch, The St Lucie River

Even bigger catch: Connie Hancock hangs on to her 14ft alligator, caught on Lake George, Florida, during a holiday with her husband Josh



Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Powered by Blogger