(WCIV/CNN) — A South Carolina family’s first alligator hunt surprised some who have been hunting for years.
The trio managed to catch a 600-pound gator.
Taxidermist Kenneth Cordray knows big and, by anyone’s definition, this is one big beast — big claws, big teeth and big scutes.
“This is a river gator. He is long and lean and 604 pounds,” he said.
Mike Montai, his daughter and nephew reeled in the gator Monday morning, hooked with a fishing pole more than 40 years old with a 100-pound line.
Daughter Sarah was the first to spot the beast. “I’d thought Godzilla for sure,” she said. “Looking in the water and not being able to see the end of the tail, that was a little bit more weird, because you don’t really know where the feet are. You don’t really know how long of a gator you’re dealing with.”
The gator is a whopping 13 feet, 4 inches, but really should measure longer. “He’s missing part of his tail as well so he’s well over 13-feet-4,” said Cordray. “If he had that whole tail, he’d be close to 14. The scutes are extra tall. They’re taller than normal and I’m guessing because of the age of the animal, he’s just an old, big gator.”
And probably the most frightening this for Sarah Montai is that this gator came from the very same area where she grew up swimming. Now she says she may think twice about jumping back in.