Jarred Stevison set out on the hunt this year with one thing in mind: to catch a gator bigger than the 10-footer he caught last year–and he did just that, catching a gator 11 feet, four inches and 350 pounds.
“We’re definitely happy with it, anything over 10 feet is an accomplishment for us,” says Stevison.
And for Stevison, it’s more about the experience than the actual catch.
“Especially when you get a good group of friends that go, that’s more important to us than actually killing the gator, is the friendship that goes along with it, we make it a good time.”
Michael Golson was one of those friends with him on the boat. He tells us this year there was more difficulty getting at the gators.
“There’s more and more pressure every year and if you really don’t know what you’re doing, it makes it even more difficult cause they are so elusive and they go down so quick that you really got to be on top of your game,” says Golson.
Kyle Lane and his group found out they caught the largest gator in the southern zone– a whopping 12 feet, four inches, weighing 616 pounds!
“Well, Michael had been scouting it for several weekends and he knew where it was and so we started right after 8:00,” says Lane.
He says it took them about three to four hours to reel him in Friday. A biologist called them to tell them their catch was the top catch this year.
“It was exciting! I knew they had killed a bigger one in Lake Eufala, but when Michael sent the text and said it was the biggest one, it was pretty exciting.”
Only 90 of the 150 tags issued were filled. Lane agrees, it’s because the gators get wise to the hunters by the time the second weekend rolls around.
“Especially down around the causeway, I’ve heard a lot of people were down hunting down that way and they get skiddish and I went a couple years ago and we had that problem.”
Nevertheless, no matter the size, the fun is in the hunt.