Say hello to Godzillia...


May 27, 2012, 08:12 PM
This beast emerged from the Thornapple river just in time to meet up with myself and a new Canon DSLR. :eek:

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May 27, 2012, 08:55 PM
Nah... That's not Godzilla - it's Gamera.

Gamera is really neat -
He is made of turtle meat...

Texan Scott
May 27, 2012, 09:01 PM
Get him mouf bit on de baton... member him baht e'bn so him daid.

(make sure his mouth is firmly clamped down on a stick (before you knock his head off) ... remember, he may bite even if (you think) he's dead)

come to think of it, not bad advice for HD/SD shootings, either.

(one of my old math pofs insists that old cajuns don't die, they just go to Port Aurthur)

May 27, 2012, 10:18 PM

Yup, they call them "snapping" turtles for a reason. ;)

May 27, 2012, 10:52 PM
MMMMMMMMMM- soup, now I am hungry.

May 28, 2012, 03:33 AM
wow, how big do them things grow? are they limitted to the deep south of the US?

Texan Scott
May 28, 2012, 03:38 AM
Interlock, i've seen these things up near my Dad's house in Michigan (mitten-shaped state bordering Canada). They get bigger around than a complete silver tea service.

edited to say: since salt water turtles are protected, fresh water snapper is the best you can get... and it is GOOOOOD. You gotta be sure to collect the fat from under the shell, cook it with the meat. Also, those beaks will shear fingers clean off.

May 28, 2012, 05:12 AM
Thats a baby. Come down here and looksee. Ours are a conglomoration of alligator, rhinocerous, triceroutops, and just plain ugly. Snap your leg clean off at the hip!

Eat them? not my bag, baby. I get the dry heaves thinking about it.

A friend of a friend of a friend seen one pull a 30 lb. wild piglet into the water in a nearby creek once..........

Texan Scott
May 28, 2012, 02:52 PM
He might be kidding... then again maybe not, or not by much... up near galveston/ port aurthur & up into the bayou on the louisiana border, they get SCARY big... never seen one that could snap a man's leg off, but i've seen some i don't think i could pick up by myself. (Two man lift, bend from the knees, not the back, etc.) Big. Ugly. Best served as soup. :evil:

Edited to say: Also, if you ever get to Australia, watch out for drop bears...

May 28, 2012, 04:02 PM
Ive seen some monster ones in the waters NE of houston. When I was a kid we would "fish" for them but curling our toes and dragging out feet across the bottoms of the shallows. Seen one bite though a 2x4 while we tryed to cut its head off.

May 28, 2012, 05:30 PM
The common snapping turtle (as in the original post) is fairly well distributed, the "Alligator Snapper" is not.

The common snapping turtle can grow pretty big, but the alligator snapper can (with age) easily attain weights in excess of 150 lbs. (recorded weights of about 250 lbs. are documented). One unofficial report of a turtle (in Kansas) weighing in at about 400 lbs. That is probably stretching it!

In the early 60's my brother and I caught one on a throw line from a pond on the golf course (Independence, Kansas) that would not fit into a 55 gallon drum (no kidding).

May 29, 2012, 08:59 AM
We used to catch alligator snappers up in the bottom of our nets when I was banding birds in college. It was a Wilson's Snipe migration study, we'd set the nets up in a marsh. Snappers would occasionally crawl in to the bottom of 'em and we'd just have to cut the net out around 'em, not get too close to that mouth. :D

(one of my old math pofs insists that old cajuns don't die, they just go to Port Aurthur)

Might as well be dead....:D

May 29, 2012, 09:51 AM
Those heads are still dangerous after getting cut off.
My brother and I would poke at them with a stick while Grampa finished cleaning them.
This was 40 years ago when I was young and foolish.
Saw one snapper that would only fit into a metal garbage can sideways and was to big to get to the bottom.
Turtles tasted better if kept in clean water for a few days before cleaning them.

May 29, 2012, 11:01 AM
I have seen then the size of a trash can lid (watts bar lake, east tn). I have rangled with aligator sappers before and they are the pitbull of the turtle world.

May 29, 2012, 11:04 AM
When I was about 5 or 6 years old. I found a snapping turtle of a similar size trying to cross the road. I have never seen one before and just knew i had discovered the largest box turtle in the world.

So in all of my brillance I walked up to the turtle and sat down beside him and started petting the thing. The turtle really took this pretty well. i picked him up and was carring it home. When I got back to the house my dad yelled at me about the time I raised the turtle up like a hamburger to look him in the eye. Whap sucker latched on to my cheek. I danced and screamed for a minute or two and kept trying to pull it off. The turtle let go and dad got it into a gunny sack.

This was my first experience with a snapping turtle. My lord did it leave a lasting impression with me. Dad took the turtle to a guy he knew that ate turtle. he sent me a quart jar of turtle soup. Can't say I really enjoyed the soup all that much if I remember right. I did have some satisfaction in eating that SOB. My face was marked real good for a month or better. Now its just a small scar.

May 29, 2012, 04:39 PM
Did ya pet him on the head?

May 29, 2012, 05:20 PM
Did ya pet him on the head?


Yeah, or feed him a marshmallow from the corner of your mouth. ;)

Grizzly Bears and Snapping Turtles, probably a bad idea. :scrutiny:

May 29, 2012, 09:11 PM
I caught an alligator snapper about that size on a trot line when I was in high school and had to cut its head off with a machete so it would not eat me (It was really mad). After taking off the shell, I had four fist sized chunks of meat for some delicious Brunswick Stew.

Just my .02,

May 30, 2012, 12:15 AM
I didn't say I was a very bright kid.

Boy oh boy did that lesson stick with me.

May 30, 2012, 12:27 AM

Not to worry JB, I am sure most of us can match you story for story on things we did as "kids" that weren't our brightest moments. In your case... it was simply a case of mistaken identity, understandable.

Its no small wonder some of us ever managed to "grow up", I fall into that group. ;)

May 30, 2012, 06:01 PM
My Aunt Marie would have turn that into soup toot-sweet.

Her solution? Tap on the shell with a hatchet, when he sticks his head out, chop it off.

May 31, 2012, 10:31 AM
Them things take fingers off..............

May 31, 2012, 02:20 PM
My grandpa actually caught a MEAN 31 pound snapper here in Minnesota while fishing off the dock with a sucker minnow and bobber. When we got it to shore I had and aluminum handled fishing net that i stuck near its face to distract it and the dang thing bit it in half! Definitely don't want to get too close to one if you value your fingers.

May 31, 2012, 08:35 PM
I have fooled with a lot of them over the years & will say this. The first thing you will learn is that they are a lot faster than you thought...and that neck is a lot longer than you thought:-) A big snapper can strike like a snake, and I have seen one break a broom handle in half. Best left alone.

May 31, 2012, 08:57 PM
As I remember, Gamera the monster turtle could breath fire, take off like a flying saucer, and destroyed half of Tokyo.

June 1, 2012, 05:17 PM
I've fooled with them in the past and it's not Sport for casual amateurs. They are out looking for places to bury their eggs right now. I saw a platter size female by my road today.

June 1, 2012, 10:32 PM
This one was much larger then the first badboy, in fact they are not badboys at all, they are badgirls. I have no idea how much they weigh, but I'm betting that this one went well north of 50 lbs. Its head was huge! It also appeared to be much older, and perhaps a bit battle scarred.

June 2, 2012, 01:31 AM
I spent a couple of years when I lived in Cincinnati, OH with a Kentucky backwoodsman learning the art of turtle fishing.

IMHO respecting this creature will come like the sun comes up in the morning with any experience. Turtle and the Hare? You damn betcha they can be fast when motivated, are stronger than they should be, weigh more than you think, and I will testify that a human finger will not even slow down that bill even on an "adolescent". Ask my buddy "three finger lefty". And.. OBTW they hiss a menacing warning when pissed, loud enough to disturb the birds in nearby trees. Unsettling as hell for first timers.

They like rotten chicken gizzards, strung from saplings near the bank. Gizzards are tough and need a solid bite. Perfect for this latter day dinosaur. Pick a good size tough sapling or you are wasting your time.

I don't know a thingabout trapping them but using this "hook" method, use a large hook. We started with a 2/0 jig hook and soon moved to at least a 3/0 circle or spinnerbait.

You might occasionaly get a BIG catfish instead of a turtle, we didn't see this as a negative, and it is NEVER impossible to collect a hook that was overcome by a big turtle. I think you would need a saltwater , blue sea hook to prevent this entirely.

P.S. ... use a wire leader.
I found that I didn't like eating them. Maybe it was the process of tapping them on the nose with pliers to get them to bite the pliers, pull the neck to full extension, and then using a very sharp Buck skinner to cut the head off and watching them gnaw on the pliers while their bodies moved to the butchering table. Maybe I don't have a taste for reptile.

Serious tin snips separate the shell, top from bottom. There is a "backstrap", protected by a ventilated tunnel in the top shell, a total of "7 different kinds of meat" if you believe the Kentucky hillbillies. And in the end, the soup is the only culinary achievement I have ever believed from the effort.

The conclusion is that I realized that the "big ones" had been there for maybe 50-60 years. Waiting for me to find out what poor cajuns, hillbillies, etc. HAD to eat.

I leave them alone now. With a good deal of respect.

Art Eatman
June 2, 2012, 09:48 AM
They live a long time. Some guesstimates of well over a hundred years. A 150-pounder was caught in the early 1900s from the lower Chattahoochee River, not far above the Florida line. There was an arrowhead embedded in the shell.

June 2, 2012, 07:05 PM
I read an article once that told about a man visiting down near the swamp and the man he was visiting had some large, 30 inch diameter shells on a wall. One of the shells had several flint arrowheads and musket balls in the shell. I found this with a search of

Size-wise, the alligator snapper is no slouch either. Although record lengths of over 30 inches are known (but exceptional), average lengths over 24 inches are common. They are also very long-lived, and as recently as the 1970s trappers were finding alligator snapping turtles with musket balls and flint arrowheads lodged in their shells! Given their potential to live upward of 150 years, anyone considering an alligator snapper should be prepared to keep a very large turtle for a very long time!

June 2, 2012, 09:32 PM
The largest common snapping turtle came from the valentine national wildlife refuge in northern cherry county in Nebraska. If I recall correctly it was quite near 75 lbs.
The alligator snapper is the largest fresh water turtle in the world. I used to own several babies and watching them eat goldfish was very interesting. They would sit on the bottom of their tanks and wiggle these little pink appendages in their mouth like fishing lures. We also had a larger one that would take large rats when thet would swim across the top of his tank..:eek:
The alligator snapper is now completely federally protected in all states which afford them the same level of protection as bald eagles so I really wouldn't recommend getting caught making soup out of them.........

June 2, 2012, 10:26 PM
The alligator snapper is now completely federally protected in all states which afford them the same level of protection as bald eagles so I really wouldn't recommend getting caught making soup out of them.........

Can you provide a link for this......^^^^^^^^^^^?

I know they are "regulated" in one form or another in all states where they exist, but was unaware of any "federal protection" to the degree you suggest.

The IUCN lists them as a threatened species, and as of June 14, 2006, it is afforded some international protection by being listed as a CITES III species.

Any additional information would be appreciated. Thanks,


Carl N. Brown
July 12, 2012, 06:41 PM
I remember Gamera, but only from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 send-ups.
....average adult size is around 26 inches shell length with a weight of 175 lb (80 kg). ....
This turtle is protected from collection throughout much of its range. The IUCN lists it as a threatened species, and as of June 14, 2006, it was afforded some international protection by being listed as a CITES 3 species (which will put limits on exportation from the United States and all international trade in this species.)[18] The alligator snapping turtle is now endangered in several states, including Indiana[19] and Illinois. Illinois fishing of snapping turtles is illegal and heavily fined.

18. "Alligator Snapping Turtle and Map Turtles Gain International Protection". Retrieved 2006-03-26.

19. Indiana Legislative Services Agency (2011), "312 IAC 9-5-4: Endangered species of reptiles and amphibians", Indiana Administrative Code, , retrieved 28 Apr 2012

Illustration from Holbrook's North American Herpetology, 1842:
The ones photographed by the opening poster are the common snapping turtles. They are common through out the Eastern and Mississippi/Missouri valley USA and southeastern Canada. They are not as protected as the Alligator Snapper. ASTs are protected more, but I have found no indication protection level on the AST matches the bald eagle.

Texan Scott
July 12, 2012, 06:44 PM
^ evil turtle necro-thread!

4v50 Gary
July 12, 2012, 08:13 PM
We had a snapping turtle in the pond in front of De Young museum in San Francisco. They finally drained it, caught him and took him away. He was king of the pond.

July 12, 2012, 08:44 PM
I found one when I was fishing years ago about the size of a silver dollar, even when they're small they have an attitude.

D Crockett
July 12, 2012, 09:48 PM
if you guys want to eat something good take that turtle after yop clean it let it soak in orange juice over night season to your likeing wrap it up in 2 layers of auluminun foil and put it in a smoker let it cook for about 2 to 3 hr on a low heat (around 200deg ) that gentlemen is good eating D Crockett

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