Florida Men Catch Enormous 12-Foot Gator: 'OK He's Pretty Big... OK He's Really Big'

Two Florida men recently caught an enormous 12-foot alligator after waiting three years to receive a permit. ABC-affiliate station WEAR said that the men successfully bagged the gator on their first attempt.

The capture happened Monday morning on the Perdido River, WEAR reported. Andy Sokol and his friend Tanner were hoping to catch an eight-foot alligator — enough meat for a barbecue, Sokol said, according to Fox 29. Instead, the pair got much more than they bargained for.

"I knew when we got a hook in him we were like, 'OK, he's pretty big.' But then when we saw this giant foot and this giant tail come up next to the boat, we were like, 'OK, he's really big,'" Sokol told WEAR.

A two-hour "battle" ensued, but in the end, the men won.

"It was definitely a different kind of battle," Sokol continued. "It'll get your heart going, definitely. I think the small boat really enhanced that feeling. But it was fun, it was definitely fun."

As previously mentioned, Sokol and his friend waited three years to receive a hunting permit. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC), more than 15,000 people apply each year for a statewide alligator hunting permit; however, there are only 7,000 permits available.

Those who are randomly selected will receive an alligator trapping license, an area-specific harvest permit, and two CITES tags. Permit holders must report their harvest by the season's end and return any unused tags to the FWC.

Sokol told WEAR that the experience was unforgettable and he hopes to receive a permit for next year's harvest.

Florida is home to more than one million alligators. The statewide harvest program allows Floridians to participate in the management of the species.

On its website, the FWC said that fully-grown alligators average between six-and-12-feet-long. However, the longest alligator caught in the state of Florida was a 14-foot 3-1/2 inch male from Brevard County.

In recent alligator-related news, a Florida man recently went viral for catching an alligator with a trash can. Newsweek reported that Abdul Gene Malik managed to back the gator against a wall before hitting the gator's head with the lid of a trash can. The gator then crawls inside of the garbage receptacle, allowing Malik to turn the bin upright and secure the lid.

Last week, a Florida woman was attacked by an 11-foot gator after falling into a canal. She sustained "severe injuries to her upper extremities," said the St. Petersburg Fire Rescue.

Two Florida men recently caught an enormous 12-foot alligator after waiting three years to receive a permit. williamhc/iStock