Gator Hunt

Finally got out to look for some lizards. Went with my brother and dad Friday night but the wind had the gators few and far between. Did find some but they were super spooky. Didn't hook any Friday night so went back out Sunday morning when the wind had calmed down. 3 minutes after rolling up on our spot we hooked a gator and the fight was on. What we thought was a 8-9' gator turned into an 11' gator when he got in the boat 30 minutes later. Being we got one in the boat so fast we tried for another. Had a hook bounce off the head of another gator that probably went 10' and as soon as we reeled that line in another gator popped his head even closer to us. Unfortunately he was only 7.5' but we filled the tag on him anyways just to fill the tag and be done with it. Now just waiting to get some gator tail in my fridge.

Replies

  • FrydaddyFrydaddy Boynton BeachPosts: 546 Officer
    nice job where did yall hunt. I didn't get tags this year hopefully next year still waiting on my first
  • 20psimr20psimr Posts: 114 Deckhand
    Nicely done! I hear that 7 1/2 is perfect eatin' size hehe. Still waiting on my first too, jealous!
    Chris
    Everglades 223cc
  • greenie-slayergreenie-slayer Posts: 850 Officer
    We hunted Lake Okeechobee.

    20psimr they all eat good. especially since the prices for selling them have been way down
  • GarysmoGarysmo Ft. Pierce, FloridaPosts: 1,009 Officer
    I don't know anything about hunting gator...so excuse my ignorance  but what do you use as bait?  
  • FrydaddyFrydaddy Boynton BeachPosts: 546 Officer
  • greenie-slayergreenie-slayer Posts: 850 Officer
    Garysmo said:
    I don't know anything about hunting gator...so excuse my ignorance  but what do you use as bait?  
    We don't use bait. We snag them with weighted treble hooks then when you get them boat side a bang stick to the brain stem to finish the job. No 30 30. The way we do it make it kinda feel like fishing. 

    There are people who use bait and some people who just spear them. I think the popular baits are chicken and game hens. You can't use a hook if you use bait. you have to use a 2" wood dowel. 
  • 20psimr20psimr Posts: 114 Deckhand
    There are company's here in FL that sell the baits pre rigged with the dowel, that was my plan. GatorPro I think is the one most people recommend, they are located up in Sebastian by Stick Marsh (one of the tags I put in for and didnt get, grr). They sell the bang sticks and harpoons as well. From what I have seen on the glory of YouTube, you motor down the canal with your favorite heavy rod with a 30 wide, and when you see the one you want you fling the bait at em and keep on truckin'. Go a couple hundred yards in free spool and wait for him to eat the bait once he thinks you are gone. Then its game on. Once you get em close get either a snatch hook in em, a harpoon, or can shoot em with a bow / crossbow with a buoy. A wrestling match will ensue that will probably rival that of a goliath offshore (use the same tackle lol).

    Sounds like fun to me, and tasty afterwards! I want in but FWC wont take my money!
    Chris
    Everglades 223cc
  • greenie-slayergreenie-slayer Posts: 850 Officer
    20psomr try just using a snatch hook first. I think you'll find its way easier than using bait. No need for a super heavy rod either. I use a 10-17lb 7'9" st croix since it will cast super far with 30lb braid. Once you hook the gator have another snatch hook rigged on paracord and use that to hook him again and lift him to the surface. Once near the surface get a harpoon in him. Once a harpoon is in its pretty much game over as now he isn't getting away. You can let tension off the rod at this point so the original snatch hook falls off. Then us the other two lines to pull him to the boat and bang stick him. I think its best to do this with 3 people onboard but I have taken big gators with just me and my dad. Hardest part is lift  big gator onto the boat. 

    I have heard the problem with bait is if they feel any pressure at all they will let it go or throw it up. I personally don't know anyone who does bait. Sad that FWC won't take your money. Probably need to apply to more than 1 area and apply to areas with more tags. 
  • GarysmoGarysmo Ft. Pierce, FloridaPosts: 1,009 Officer
    I think I'm just going to live through you guys....LOL.   good luck out there
  • 20psimr20psimr Posts: 114 Deckhand
    edited October 10 #11
    I did Stick Marsh and all of the Okeechobee sections. Even had Alicia apply this year in all the Okee areas N, S, W (we skipped East, since it was only like 5 tags available) and Stick Marsh. Ive bass fished Stick Marsh so I know the area well and there is huge gators in there that just sit on the bank and stare at you.

    I set up a 60lb bow with a buoy on braid and been practicing shooting it in my pond. Was going to use that + snatch hook. But have watched a bunch of the youtube videos with BlueGabe and DMFD using bait, thats how they seem to do it. Debated on walking 2 streets over to DMFD's new house (we walk our dogs past all the time, his wrapped camper is parked out front) and asking for his help if I got tags, but so much for that lol. Always next year I guess! Once the kids are older Im going to pay for their licenses and apply for tags with them too I guess!

    Speaking of tags, did the same thing for deer this year and got skunked as usual. Oldest boy Dane is getting into hunting, bought him a 308 last year for xmas and hes 9-10 ring with it at 200 yds at Okee shooting sports range. Hasnt gotten to hunt with it yet, and of course all the WMA's I applied for like Dupuis, Dinner Island, and Allapattah got skunked on those as well. Did same deal, Alicia and myself both applied and we got nothing at all. Spoke to a buddy whos been hunting Dupuis/Corbett all his life he said he applies wish his entire family. Mom, Dad, Friends, Girlfriend etc. Out of 7 people he used to apply, he pulled 1 permit for Dupuis. The odds must be terrible, this is my 4th year in a row getting skunked on Deer permits.

    Starting to get discouraged. At this point I would just rather fish. Got into USPSA and 2 gun recently to scratch the shooting itch. Hunting in Florida just aint happening I guess.
    Chris
    Everglades 223cc
  • greenie-slayergreenie-slayer Posts: 850 Officer
    20psirmr that is why I don't like hunting. I hear stories with gators all the time of people who haven't pulled a tag in 6 years. We have been lucky and only had 1 year where no one in my family pulled a tag. I have heard deer and turkey permits aren't much different except you get preference points.They have decrease the amount of gator tags in recent year too which is benefiting the gator farmers and making gator prices decrease for those who do pull tags.

    I'm the same as you i would rather fish. No need to pull a tag and can go any day of the year. I do wish they would open Goliath grouper and make the same as the alligator harvest but that is wishful thinking. I doubt they will even open it. 
  • 20psimr20psimr Posts: 114 Deckhand
    I heard the gator taxidermy place in okeechobee is selling fresh meat. Think I'll just go that route, I have a match at OK Corral on Sunday so will be in the area anyway. Probably end up being cheaper anyway lol.
    Chris
    Everglades 223cc
  • greenie-slayergreenie-slayer Posts: 850 Officer
    Ya they sell meat their meat is fresh. I think they do like $12/lb
  • Reel MullarkeyReel Mullarkey Posts: 1,869 Captain
    This was my first year hunting gators and I love it! I got tags for Lake O south. Unfortunately Dorian parked out front as my tags came live. I got my first gator solo (8'7). I took my helper to fill the second tag and we got a 11'7 on bait. I'm gonna set up a cross bow for next year. I bought left over tags in St John's County but I am sending them back. It's a much harder hunt up there! You really need a cross bow to shoot them in the submerged forest of the St John's River.

    Congrats on 2 very nice gators! Hopefully we can pull tags again next year!This is the 8'7 from week 3


    11'7


    11'7 gator on a 16' mud boat!
    Jonathan Mullarkey's
    SUPERCLEAN SERVICES
    Professional cleaning and restoration since 1999
    CARPETS - UPHOLSTERY - TILE - GROUT - MARBLE - TERRAZZO

    CLEAN - POLISH - SEAL - RESTORE - PROTECT
    561-891-1236
    www.steamcleanjupiter.com
  • GarysmoGarysmo Ft. Pierce, FloridaPosts: 1,009 Officer
    That gator is huge.   Live the picture with you guys laying next to it.
Sign In or Register to comment.