Mississippi Hunters Land Absolutely Massive Gator With Pliers: ‘Huge Gamble’

by Taylor Cunningham

Two Mississippi hunters spent three nights attempting to catch one absolutely massive gator. And in the end, it was a pair of pliers that got the job done.

Tyler Emfinger and Trey Davis set out on a hunting trip on Dump Lake earlier this month and spotted a 617-pound alligator that measured 13 feet, 2 inches. As Emifinger told the Tennessean, aside from that ridiculously large reptile, they had only seen small gators and one 12-foot gator. And they determined to bring in the biggest option. But after a few failed attempts, the monster became their white whale.

“I’d been chasing him three days straight, so we weren’t trying to catch anything but him,” he said. “We had hooked him two days in a row. He went under logs and pulled off. It was very frustrating.”

The hunters found the gator hiding in the same place two nights in a row. But by the third, it had wised up and moved on. However, the tactic didn’t deter the duo. Instead, they cruised around until they finally found it hiding in a heavily weeded location on the opposite end of the lake.

Catching the Gator Was Only The First Challenge

Their first attempt to capture the alligator that night turned into another bust. After casting a line, it tangled in the weeds, causing the animal to swim further away. Thanks to a bright moon, the guys were able to trail it.

“As soon as he turned sideways, I cast and hooked him,” Emfinger continued. “He went under, [and] he just slowly pulled us along and then he took off. He went under some logs again and laid down. I could see bubbles coming up, so I knew where he was.”

If the gator used the log as a getaway, it would be three times too many. So the hunters decided they were going to figure out how to keep it on the line.

“If there’s room under the log you can run the rod under it to the other side,” Davis added. “There’s so many logs in that lake. It’s common to deal with that. There was no clearance to get the rod under it.”

So Emfinger and Davis used a trick they had tried on another gator the night before. In an attempt to move to the other side of the log without losing the line, they wrapped it around the handles of Channellock pliers. Then they cut the line between the rod and pliers and re-tired it in an Alberto knot.

The duo was able to move around the log and get their alligator.

However, the beast was bigger than they thought, and after killing it, they couldn’t get it in their 14-foot boat. So Emfinger called a friend with a larger craft who was fishing in the same area.

“It took four of us to get him in the boat,” Emfinger continued. “It was a 19-foot boat and it took on about a foot of water…It was a miracle in the making. That’s for sure.”