‘Oh boy, that’s not a stingray’: Moment shocked fisherman accidentally hooks up an 8FT ALLIGATOR in South Carolina
- Rob Birchmeier brings in a monster while in a saltwater swamp in Murrells Inlet
- A 48-second clip shows an animal hooked to its rear left paw before swinging around
- Kayak fisherman Birchmeier shouts ‘surprise, surprise!’ before the reptile sets
This is the breathtaking moment when a South Carolina fisherman realizes he hooked an alligator while fishing in a saltwater swamp.
Rob Birchmeier says, “I think I got a stingray for me,” moments before the deadly reptile emerges from the murky waters of Murrell’s Inlet, in footage captured by the kayak fisherman.
Birchmeier, from Pawleys Island, shouts, “Oh boy, that’s not a stingray … surprise, surprise!” before the 8ft beast starts hitting the water.
The alligator scurries around and tries to dive back under the surface while still attached to the fishing line.
The 48-second clip, recorded on May 20, ends with the alligator floating just below the surface, with Birchmeier’s jig still in its back left leg.
“Will someone help me get my mold back?” he can be heard saying.
Birchmeier said he has made more than 500 trips in the area and that doesn’t scare him much anymore.
He told Myrtle Beach Online: ‘I was as surprised as I could have been when that came up.
“It could have been a mermaid and I couldn’t have been more surprised.”
‘That’s not a stingray’: Alligator begins to emerge from the murky depths of Murrell’s Inlet – to the surprise of fisherman Rob Birchmeier
‘Surprise, surprise!’: The alligator emerges from the murky water with the fishing hook on its left hind leg and slams into the water next to Robert Birchmeier’s kayak before submerging again
The alligator eventually unhooked and swam away, and Birchmeier was able to retrieve his fishing jig.
Birchmeier, a kayak tour guide and owner of Pawley’s Island Beach to Creek, said the experience won’t stop him from fishing from the kayak.
“I’m telling people to be more concerned about sunburn, oyster shells and fire ants,” he added.
Murrells Inlet is on the east coast and has long been a fishing mecca.
It is one of the few coastal areas with a system of swamps and inland waters that consist of 100% salt water.
There is no freshwater pumping into the area and it reduces its salinity, making it ideal for fish such as trout, rockfish and the doormat flounder.
While alligators generally prefer fresh water, in the US, including South Carolina, they are often seen hunting in salt water.
They are known to tolerate the salty conditions of feasting on stingrays and crabs.
Alligators do not have salt glands, which means they risk stress and death by staying in salt water for too long, which causes them to tend to travel back and forth.
Murrells Inlet is also home to nearshore reefs, with mackerel, sharks, black bass, bluefish, spadefish, and more.