A crew of hunters boated an alligator of epic proportions over the weekend while prowling a lake in a small jon boat near Orlando, Florida. The massive reptile, hooked and killed by Captain Kevin Brotz of Get Bit Outdoors, weighed 900 pounds and measured just over 13-feet long.

Brotz is an experienced alligator hunter who guides clients for big gators year round, mostly on private land. “This was kind of a special hunt,” he told Field & Stream. “It was just me and some friends going out for a fun hunt, which is rare. We spotted this guy about two hours into it. He was swimming away from us, and his back was massive, so we started throwing hooks at him.”

The men used large custom-made fishing rods outfitted with spin-casting reels. On the end of their lines were giant 12/0 treble hooks meant for snagging thick gator hide. Brotz says all three crew members managed to snag into the giant reptile, but it was so big that it wouldn’t budge off the bottom.

“Once we had three hooks into him and he still wasn’t moving, I knew we were dealing with a different beast,” says Brotz. “Our hearts were in our throats while we were waiting for him to wake up. When they’re that close, and they haven’t exhausted their energy reserves—that’s when things get explosive.”

Big Game Hunting photo
It took multiple trebel hooks, gaffs, harpoons, and a bang stick to finally subdue the monster gator. Aaron Love.

Eventually, Brotz got another treble hook—a size 20/0—into the massive gator. That one was attached to a long rope he calls a handline. The big reptile swam into log jams along the lake shore. The crew had to cut lines and throw out new hooks to avoid losing it. At one point during the battle, the massive gator exploded out of the water. “It porpoised two or three feet up into the air,” says Brotz. “It looked like a blue whale when it breached.”

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The battle went on like that for the better part of four hours before they finally pulled the gator to the side of the boat and dispatched with a .357 bang stick. They had it weighed the following morning on a certified scale at a scrap yard in Orlando. “He’s the second-heaviest ever killed in Florida and potentially in the entire United States,” says Brotz. “FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Comission) contacted me when they heard the news. They agreed that it’s the second heaviest, and they said they’re working toward getting it certified.”

According to FWC, the heaviest gator ever taken by a hunter in Florida weighed 1,043 pounds and measured more than 13-feet long. It was killed in Orange Lake in the Spring of 1989. The longest Florida gator in the FWC record books measured 14 feet, 3 1/2 inches and weighed 654 pounds.