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Monster Gator hauled out of Edisto River

Rob Flick (beard) and Bobby Westbury show off their Edisto River alligator. Photo by Cordray’s Processing

Rob Flick (beard) and Bobby Westbury show off their Edisto River alligator.
Photo by Cordray’s Processing

On the next to last day of the S.C. alligator season, Rob Flick and Bobby Westbury hauled in a monster alligator just south of Westbank Landing. After an eight-hour hunting trip they returned to the ramp with a trophy gator that weighed 558-pounds! The monster gator measured 12-feet 9-inches in length, which nearly filled up their 22-foot Pathfinder boat, and it will yield nearly 200-pounds of gator meat.

This is Westbury’s first gator season but his prior two trips out with Flick yielded no gators. Flick had been drawn by the SCDNR for a gator tag and was keen to use it before the season went out on October 12. They put in at dawn and rode south down the Edisto River from Westbank Landing into the creeks between Hope Plantation and Pon Pon Plantation.

With gator season nearly over, perhaps the hunting pressure had subsided because this gator-hunting tandem was surprised to see the BIG gator loitering in a small creek channel and not trying to be elusive. When they approached the gator submerged itself but they were ready with heavy spinning tackle rods rigged with treble hooks. “I had a Penn Slammer heavy-action rod and a Penn 704Z reel rigged with 100-pound braid,” said Flick.

They first hooked into the mature reptile at 10:30 a.m., causing the big gator to stay deep and to begin swimming off. “We didn’t see the gator again for 2.5-hours,” said Flick. “We broke out a second fishing pole outfit and snagged the gator, so that when one line would part, we still had contact with our prey. The gator tired around 1 p.m. after dragging us against the current about 500-yards.”

When the gator rose to the surface and they saw his 6-foot long tail making powerful strokes back and forth in the water they looked at each other as if to say what do we do now? Neither of them had tangled with an alligator this size before! They decided to attach a rope around the gator using a gaff so that they could hand-line the creature closer to the boat, and that’s when Westbury used his Glock handgun to fire two rounds into the gator’s head.

The gator expired pretty quickly and began to sink so the two man hunting party had to wrap another line to their prize and tie him off to a boat cleat. Since he was too heavy to drag over the railing, they simply towed him back slow and easy to the ramp where they started, arriving about 3 p.m. Some fishermen that were using the dock agreed to help them get the gator into their boat for transport.

The S.C. alligator season has been a shot in the arm for local taxidermists since they can make all sorts of trophies from an alligator. Electing to visit Cordray’s Venison Processing in Ravenel, Flick has taken his gator tag and changed it into a full rug mount that will grace his home for years to come. Since this was easily his biggest gator harvest ever I asked Flick if he would be going again next year.

“I can’t wait to put in for my tag next year,” said Flick. “For some reason I’m still kind of angry at those gators about something, and I aim to hunt for them again! This gator hunting business is more of a team effort than an individual one, and I couldn’t have done it without help from Bobby and we were using his boat. I’ll split the gator meat with him and we’ll share plenty of it with our friends.”

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com

Jeff Dennis, Contributor (334 Posts)

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com