The 5 Largest Alligators Ever Found in Mississippi

MI Gators
© Life On White and Sanjana Jaiswal from Geeky_store/ via

Written by Kellianne Matthews

Published: February 2, 2024

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Mississippi is a beautiful southern state with verdant wetlands, meandering rivers, and one of the most ancient and awe-inspiring members of the animal kingdom: the American alligator. These ancient river monsters can grow to jaw-dropping sizes. In some rare cases, an American alligator may even reach 15 feet in length and weigh 1,000 pounds! But just how big do they get in Mississippi? Take a look at the five largest alligators ever found in Mississippi!

1. Longest Male Alligator: 14 Feet, 3 Inches

American Alligator

Male alligators can grow much larger than females.

©Benjamin Klinger/iStock via Getty Images

As soon as darkness fell on August 25, 2023, Donald Woods set out with his hunting buddies on the Yazoo River. There were plenty of gators out that night, but these seasoned hunters were on a mission to capture a huge alligator. As soon as they saw an enormous head and wide back along the water’s surface, they knew it was their gator. Around 9 p.m., the team hooked the massive reptile, but it took several more hours before they could claim their prize. 

The enormous alligator broke hook after hook, darting under logs and frustrating his human predators. Several rods snapped and some reels burnt out, but still, they kept going. Finally, around 4 a.m., Woods and his crew hoisted the behemoth into their boat. The official measurements from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) reported the 802.5-pound gator to be 14 feet, 3 inches, making it the largest alligator ever found in Mississippi! 

2. Second Longest Male Alligator: 14 feet, ¾ Inches

American alligator with dragonfly on head

Alligators have eyes on top of their head so that they can stay mostly submerged in the water.

©Danita Delimont/

In 2017, Brian Burnside and his team, the Muddy Water Maniacs, hooked a massive alligator while hunting just off the Mississippi River. The giant alligator was caught using a rod, reel, and snatch hook. It weighed 766.5 pounds and had a belly girth of 69 inches and a tail girth of 43 inches. The massive alligator held the state record for six full years until Woods’ 2023 catch.

3. Heaviest Male Alligator: 826 Pounds


Alligators are cold-blooded and rely on the natural elements to regulate their body temperatures.


The heaviest male alligator ever found in Mississippi weighed an incredible 826 pounds! It was caught in 2015 by Kennie Crechale in Morton with a private-lands permit on David Island. Not only was the ginormous alligator weighty, but it was also the first documented in Mississippi as being over 14 feet long! The alligator measured 14 feet and ¼ inches. It had a belly girth of 68 inches and a tail girth of 48 inches. 

4. Longest Female Alligator: 10 Feet, 2 Inches

Alligator at night

Alligators mostly hunt at night.

©Alexey Stiop/

In August 2022, two gator hunters from Madison — Jim and Richie Denson — caught an enormous alligator on the Pearl River. Their catch turned out to be the longest female alligator ever caught in Mississippi, measuring 10 feet and 2 inches. Back in 2009, the same alligator had been tagged by the MDWFP as “Yellow 410” and was estimated to be around 75 to 100 years old when she was killed. She was also one of the longest female alligators recorded in the wild. 

5. Heaviest Female Alligator: 319 Pounds

Alligator swimming through clear waters

Alligators can swim, crawl, walk, and run.

©David Louis Tiffany/

The heaviest female alligator ever found in Mississippi was caught in 2015 by Craig Jones of Mendenhall at Eagle Lake. The enormous female weighed 319 pounds and measured 9 feet and 11 inches long. She had a 47-inch belly girth and a 37-inch tail girth. Measuring 9 feet, 11 inches, she was also just three inches shorter than the longest female alligator ever found in Mississippi. 

How Many Alligators Live in Mississippi?

a gator

Alligators often dig large holes in the mud to trap heat and stay warm.


The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) lives throughout the southeastern United States. In Mississippi, it is most common in the southern two-thirds of the state. However, in the 1960s, the state’s alligators nearly disappeared entirely! Fortunately, laws protected them as Endangered Species, and eventually their numbers stabilized once more. 

Alligators are a vital part of Mississippi’s ecosystems. They are apex predators that regulate populations of smaller animals. They also help create habitats for fish, crustaceans, and amphibians by digging “gator holes”. 

Today, officials in Mississippi extensively monitor alligator populations across the state, and most recent estimates suggest 32,000 to 38,000 alligators live in the state. Around 24% of Mississippi’s alligators live in Jackson County. Fortunately, American alligators were removed from the Endangered Species list, but populations in Mississippi are still smaller than in many other southern states. 

Mississippi’s first alligator hunting season began in 2005, and today it continues to be highly regulated. Alligator hunting in Mississippi is used to help regulate populations in various areas where gators are overcrowded. To legally hunt alligators in Mississippi, you must obtain a permit from the MDWFP. In addition, alligator hunting is restricted to legally designated areas. Engaging in illegal activities such as poaching alligators and their eggs, or disturbing their nests incurs severe fines, often amounting to thousands of dollars. 

Summary of the 5 Largest Alligators Ever Found in Mississippi

Longest male alligator14 feet, 3 inches802.5 pounds2023
Second longest male alligator14 feet, 3/4 inches766.5 pounds2017
Heaviest male alligator 14 feet, 1/4 inches826 pounds2015
Longest female alligator10 feet, 2 inches193 pounds2022
Heaviest female alligator9 feet, 11 inches319 pounds2015

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About the Author

Kellianne Matthews is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on anthrozoology, conservation, human-animal relationships, and animal behavior. Kellianne has been writing and researching animals for over ten years and has decades of hands-on experience working with a variety of different animals. She holds a Master’s Degree from Brigham Young University, which she earned in 2017. A resident of Utah, Kellianne enjoys creating, exploring and learning new things, analyzing movies, caring for animals, and playing with her cats.

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