A Florida angler made the catch of a lifetime over the Memorial Day weekend.
Land-based anglers catch sharks from the beaches of the Sunshine State everyday, but hooking a shark-like fish such as the one this young angler caught last weekend doesn’t happen very often.
While fishing early Sunday morning in Boynton Beach, angler Dustin Richter hooked an endangered sawfish, a shark-like fish that has rows of razor sharp teeth.
“We got in close, and it didn’t seem that big then. We saw the entire fish, and it was huge, and the fight was on,” angler Dustin Richter told WTVR News. “It’s like he wasn’t even hooked. He kept swimming out. It was like he wasn’t even on our line.”
Richter and his fishing pals spent two hours reeling in the powerful sawfish. The rare fish weighed roughly 500 pounds and measured 11-feet in length with a bill length of 4 feet.
Before releasing the endangered fish back into the sea, Richter took a souvenir from the once-in-a-lifetime catch: a tooth from the sawfish’s bill that came off during the catch.
Sawfish, also known as carpenter sharks, have a long snout covered in razor-sharp teeth, and can grow up to 23-feet in length. Sawfish are also considered an endangered and threatened species in many regions of the world.
Their numbers have dropped significantly in recent years from over fishing and habitat loss. They live in the warm and shallow coastal waters of the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific.
What’s the most unusual fish you’ve caught? Let us know in the comments section.