HOBE SOUND, FL (WPTV/NBC) - A Florida teen reeled in the catch of a lifetime over the weekend when he caught a 12-foot gator.
Tim Stroh and his family and 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," said Stroh.
"When I saw how big it was it even intimidated me," added Tim's dad, Steve.
With his bass fishing rod he tossed his line, the 800-pound alligator chomped down and the fight ensued.
Tim managed to pull the gator beside the boat. Once he realized how big it was, he hit the gator with a 'bang stick,' a .44 caliber gun shell on a stick.
He harpooned the 12' 3" reptile with the help of a friend and pulled it into their boat.
The gator is now being stored in the family's freezer, where it will more than likely be stuffed and mounted by Tim's father, who is also a taxidermist.
"I'm going to mount the head for him so he can put it in his room," Steve Stroh said.
Although the trophy was impressive, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said there have been bigger catches. The longest gator in Florida was more than 14 feet and the heaviest more than 1,000 pounds.
"I am going to try and catch a bigger one, that's all you can do," said Tim.
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