When Beth Trammell won the title for Mississippi’s heaviest alligator last week, she was beat within an hour by Dustin Bockman’s 727-pound reptile.
Now, Dalco Turner of Gluckstadt, Miss., has bested both hunters with his 741-pound alligator, which is the new state record holder for the longest male alligator. The giant reptile was caught Sunday morning from a backwater area of the Mississippi River, the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson reports.
“It was around midnight when we initially saw this one,” Turner said. “We passed it by the first time. We really didn’t think he was big enough to go after.”
The alligator is both the heaviest and longest in Mississippi, measuring 13 feet and 6.5 inches. Jimmy Greer, Dalco Turner, John Ratcliff and Jennifer Ratcliff – also known as Team Gatorslayer – are credited with catching the 741-pound alligator.
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“He broke three lines, and I had the only hook that stayed in him the whole time,” Turner said describing the difficult catch he made with his team.
“Even with these two guys, it was very hard, and we were worn out,” John Ratcliff, who helped make the record-breaking catch, said. “If it wouldn’t have been for those two guys, we would have never gotten him in the boat.” The group said it took 30 minutes to wrangle the reptile from the river and load it into their boat.
"We couldn't even pull him onto the bank," Turner said. "We tried to pull him (ashore) with the boat, we tried everything."
Unofficial measurements indicated the alligator was 13-feet, 7-inches, which bested the current record by half an inch. The group then called Ricky Flynt from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks' Alligator Program, who weighed the alligator at a whopping 741.5 pounds and measuring 13-feet, 6.5 inches, tying the current length record.
On Sept. 1, Beth Trammell of Madison, caught a 723.5-pound alligator, crushing the previous record of 697.5 pounds. One hour after her catch was certified, Dustin Bockman, a UPS driver from Vicksburg, caught a 727-pound alligator, MNN reports.
"He broke all the lines we could put in him. Finally put a snare on him and got him up high enough and put a shot on him. All in all probably took us four and a half hours to catch him from the first time we saw him," Bockman said.