DESTIN — Two charter fishing boats out looking for cobia Saturday saw something they had no intention of reeling in.
While fishing in the Gulf of Mexico between Navarre and Okaloosa Island, they saw an 8-foot gator floating in the surf.
The first boat saw it about a half mile off shore Saturday morning, but it dove down before they could get a photo of it. The second boat saw it a few hundred feet from shore and angler Eddie Morgan snapped a photo of it floating in the brilliant green water.
In 32 years of fishing, that’s the first time he’s ever seen a gator in local Gulf waters, Morgan said.
“We spotted him from a distance,” Morgan said. “We’re out here looking for cobia. We see something big, brown and floating. We check it out.”
Morgan said the gator was just laying there and they weren’t immediately sure if it was alive.
The photo was posted on the Cobia World Championship Facebook page.
Morgan said he’s pretty sure it’s the same gator that beachgoers discovered on the shoreline of Eglin Air Force Base property near Navarre earlier this week.
Eglin officials said Tuesday that they were aware that the gator was on the beach, but had no plans to relocate it. Gators are commonly found in fresh and brackish water, but less frequently in salt water.