An alligator weighing 697.5 pounds is now out of the water and into the Mississippi state record book. Hunter Tom Grant of Boyle, Miss., caught the massive gator on a private hunting club near Fitler in Issaquena County.
"When we snagged the alligator with two rod and reel snatch hooks, we knew he was big, we just didn’t know he would be this big," said Grant. "It was an hour and a half of pure tug of war and chaos before we finally had him restrained."
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks officially weighed and confirmed the new male gator record Saturday. The previous record male alligator, weighing 690.5 pounds, was caught last year and only about 16 miles from where Grant caught his.
"This is not the first record to come from Issaquena County and probably will not be the last," said MDWFP Alligator Program Coordinator Ricky Flynt. "The lower Delta region of the state is home to some very remote and abundant habitat that has harbored large alligators for thousands of years."
Grant’s alligator was officially measured at 13 feet, 1-1/2 inches long -- which did not surpass the current record of 13 feet 6-1/2 inches -- with a belly girth of 65 inches and a tail girth of 45 inches.
“The recovery of the American alligator in Mississippi from an endangered species to a population that now has reached levels to sustain limited hunting status is a true wildlife conservation success story," added Flynt.
-- Image courtesy of Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks