PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - It took two days to reel in a 650 to 700 pound alligator from the Pascagoula River for a Brookhaven couple over the Labor Day weekend.
First timer gator hunters Michael Piper and his wife Bethany Piper started their hunt on Friday aboard an 18 foot aluminum center console fishing boat. They were joined by friends and experienced hunters Terry Fauver, of Brookhaven, Eric Bowers of Jackson and Dean Nettles of Jackson.
"We actually did not see a whole lot of alligators," Michael Piper said. "We had seen a smaller gator that we were going after."
Suddenly a massive gator caught their eye. Michael Piper said they changed their focus and started going after it.
Around 11:45 p.m. on Friday they hooked it with a fishing pole just south of the I-10 long bridge in Pascagoula.
"We had, at one time, five deep sea fishing rods with 200 pound test line and five grownups couldn't bring the alligator up from the bottom," he said. "This particular one, just the sheer size of the gator, none of us had any idea. Once we hooked him he got under the water. And when he surfaced we were all shocked of the size of him."
Michael Piper said they had to ask boaters nearby to help and at 2 a.m. Saturday the 11' 5 ½" gator was finally shot with a shotgun and pulled into the boat.
He said they are having the gator's meat processed and some of it made into sausage. They are also going to have the head mounted.
"Our children were very excited they've seen the pictures," Michael Piper said.
They chose to hunt in the Pascagoula River because Michael Piper said his wife, who is holds the alligator hunting permit, was selected out of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries lottery to hunt in the south eastern region.