MONCKS CORNER - Three Upstate alligator hunters landed a 771-pound giant this week after seven days of pursuing the same beast.

Chase Cummins, Michael Strickland and Robbie Strickland, all from Clinton, snared the animal by using an ocean worthy fishing rod and treble hook in the Diversion Canal following a two-hour fight Thursday.

“We thought this was the biggest one we could get,” said Robbie Strickland, a retired banker. They were able to recognize and track the gator by using binoculars to follow its movements over the days.

On multiple occasions they got near enough with their 23-foot boat to use a bow, only to have the gator duck under, Strickland said. “He was kind of skittish.”

South Carolina’s fourth annual gator season closes at noon Oct. 8.