Monster gator pulled from South Carolina river

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Lara Rolo, WCIV – SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) - A South Carolina family's first alligator hunt surprised some who have been hunting for years.

The trio managed to catch a 604-pound gator.

"Wow, look at the tail on him. He's huge," said Kenneth Cordray with Cordray's Taxidermy

Cordray knows big. Big claws, big teeth, big scutes and one big gator

"This is a river gator. He is long and lean and 604 pounds," continued Cordray.

By anyone's definition, the gator is one big beast.

"That wasn't what we were looking for, but that's what it ended up being," said Mike Montei, who caught the gator.

Summerville's Mike Montei, his daughter and nephew reeled in the gator Monday morning hooked with a fishing pole at more than 40 years old and a 100-pound line.

"The taxidermist said it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. People hunt years and never see an alligator like that," continued Montei.

"I'd thought Godzilla for sure," said Mike's daughter, Sarah Montei, who was the first to spot him.

"Looking in the water and not being able to see the end of the tail, that was a little bit more weird because you don't really know where the feet are. You don't really know how long of a gator you're dealing with so," continued Sarah.

The gator is a whopping 13-feet-4-inches long, but really should measure longer.

"He's missing part of his tail as well so he's well over 13-feet-4-inches. If he had that whole tail he'd be close to 14. The scutes are extra tall. They're taller than normal and I'm guessing because of the age of the animal. He's just an old, big gator," said Cordray.

"It was a lot of fun though and I think if we had another chance to do it -- we probably would but we definitely wouldn't be shooting for another 13 footer," said Sarah.

And probably the most frightening thing for Sarah, this gator came from the very same area where she grew up swimming. Now she says she may think twice about jumping back in.