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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -It's gator hunting season in South Carolina and a lot of people are hitting the rivers hoping to tag a big catch.

This week one Columbia man caught a 11 foot, 500 pound gator and he says that's not even the biggest catch he's had.
"Its wild every time," said Jesse Silkwood.

For the past five-years Silkwood has made gator hunting more than a hobby.

"Sometimes they will take you in the woods and trees and you are digging your lines out of willows."

And this week he nabbed one of his biggest yet.

"He was what they call a bull or stud for his size, just a large alligator when we were dragging him back he stretched from almost the nose of the boat to the back of the boat."

Silkwood and his friends caught an 11-foot 500 pound gator on Lake Marion, but its not bigger than his catch two years ago.

"About 12 1/2 feet long, we did not get an exact weight on it but I would imagine it was in the 650 pound range and it was hooked on rod and reel and fought for about 3 hours."

But this week's catch didn't put up much of a fight.

"Actually the fastest and most productive catch yet. We were able to subdue him and bring him up to the boat and dispatch him and get him tied up in about 30 minutes."

He says even though it's a dangerous thing to do, they always put their safety over trying to bring home a major catch.

His group has three tags left this season and he hopes to find an even bigger gator to bring home.

"We are trying to save one of the last ones to go for a really large one, I know that sounds crazy but that is what we are trying and we have a little bit of hunting season left."

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