But as soon as he set his eyes on his last catch, he knew he would be someone to remember him.
Kimmel, owner of Martin County Trapping & Wildlife Rescue, went out to Florida Everglades last week hoping to catch a giant Burmese snake.
He went to a secluded island where he discovered crocodile droppings and a black snake – but then he came to a giant snake who immediately knew he was special. “My heart started beating,” Kimmel told CNN. “I’ve grabbed large quantities before, but this looks too big.”
Kimmel is waiting for state authorities to make an official measurement. When he measured the snake at home, he was about 17 feet tall and estimated to weigh around 130 to 150 pounds, he said.
The largest snake caught in Florida was 18 feet, 8 inches tall, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
Snakes began appearing in Everglades in the 1980s, pet owners probably left them when they were too big to tolerate them. Some may have escaped from a breeding facility destroyed during Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Wildlife officials now estimate that there may be up to 100,000 snakes living in Everglades. Snakes kill native animals including raccoons, otters, birds and even crocodiles.
Kimmel plans to sell snake skin on his website. He said he would also receive a boost from the Python team in Florida, which is paying people to remove invasive species.
“I was proud to come to the top and knew I would get a good salary from him,” Kimmel said. “But most of all, a snake of this size can reach anything, so I was thrilled to get this dangerous predator out of the ecosystem.”
Alaa Al-Asar from CNN contributed to this report.