HomeOutdoorsWATCH: Fisherman Falls as Alligator Charges Him in the Everglades

WATCH: Fisherman Falls as Alligator Charges Him in the Everglades

by Jon D. B.
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Definitely watch your footing if you’ve got to run from an alligator. Especially if said alligator is twice as long as you.

While we tend to think of crocodilians as big, lumbering brutes, all species are capable of remarkable bursts of speed. Unfortunately, it appears as if no one has told this Florida fisherman that. Surely this is required knowledge for Floridians?

Either way, this angler found himself nose-to-nose with an 11-foot alligator whilst tarpon fishing in the Everglades. Perched directly on a marshy shore, fisherman Tommy Lee, 22, lets loose a few nice casts in his GoPro footage into serene-enough-looking waters. Then – as things often do in America’s Panhandle – everything changes in an instant.

Up from the depths charges an enormous gator. The big-enough-to-eat-you kind of gator.

Tommy Lee’s GoPro video gives viewers beyond-front-row access into his knee-jerk reactions as the nightmare scenario unfolds. As the Florida alligator‘s broad head surfaces, TL’s breathing becomes heavy and frantic. He backpedals instantly, keeping his trusty rod aimed at the gargantuan reptile. Wisely, he keeps his eyes on the gator, but this prevents him from keeping his footing.

As if living out a horror film all his own, Tommy Lee falls hard onto his backside, stumbling as the gator continues to charge.

“Get back!” TL shouts as he brandishes his teal rod like a sword. The gator is, of course, completely unfazed by this little mammal and his beanpole.

Florida Angler was Likely Near Alligator’s Nest

Then, instead of taking off as far away from the alligator’s habitat as he can, Tommy Lee continually approaches the gator and his fishing spot. Can’t take the Florida out of the man. C’mon, TL!

“Well, that puts an end to my tarpon fishing,” Lee eventually says in his video. “Wow… And I am outta here!” he concludes.

About time, son! Should’ve been out of there minutes prior!

As for the alligator, this display of aggression was only meant to go so far – or ol’ TL wouldn’t have lived to upload his footage. A charge like this likely means the young angler wound up fishing in a mother alligator’s nesting territory. Gators will dig out large nests for their clutches of 20, 30, or even 40+ eggs up off banks and estuaries, then leave them to incubate. And Tommy Lee just so happened to be fishing during prime gator nesting season. Someone hasn’t read their Florida Boy Handbook.

Watch the heart-pounding encounter for yourself below, and see if you gasp alongside TL as his ass meets grass with an 11-foot alligator in tow:


A big alligator tries to attack me while tarpon fishing in Florida.

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