A fishing tale: After a slow morning on the water, I thought I hooked a monster redfish, but I’d actually snagged the tail of a 6-ish foot gator. Fought it for a solid 15 minutes, then managed to pull it within inches of the kayak before seeing the scales slowly rising to the surface. Cut line and threw away my shorts.

An alligator drifts in the marsh near Hopedale, Louisiana