A fishing trip of a lifetime
It was reported on May 23 that two sports fishermen from Maine had the fishing experience of a lifetime - they caught not one, but two rare endangered sawfish in the space of 2 hours, while fishing in a boat off South West Florida.
An unexpected bite
The lucky fishermen, a father and son from Maine were having an average day's fishing and actually running out of bait due to the large number of bites from problematic sharpnose sharks.
But then, the son - Michael Treworgy - got a bite on one of the lines off the side of his boat and upon picking it up immediately knew he was into something special, and big!
After 45 minutes of grappling, and having snapped his fishing pole during the fight, they were able to haul in the huge, 13-foot creature that they estimate weighed as much as 800 pounds. It was the fish of a lifetime!
Lucky not once, but twice
As if that weren't enough, the very next bite the pair had was from another fish of the same, rare type - and almost as big as the first!
The fishermen from Maine will surely remember the trip as a once in a lifetime experience, particularly as they likely didn't set out in search of catching the rare sawfish to begin with!
Sawfish are unusual but do occasionally get caught in Florida's waters. Just last month, a fisherman on vacation from the United Kingdom reeled in another 13-foot specimen. Video of his catch was also shared online:
An endangered species
Sawfish are a rare and critically endangered species.
In each of the catches above, the fishermen were keen to point out that the fish were safely returned to the water unharmed. While they look like they could be related to sharks, sawfish have more in common with rays. Estimates suggest the population is dwindling and while they were once known to live in waters off 75 countries, they're now present in just 20 countries.
For the tourists from Maine, this truly was a once (or should that be, twice) in a lifetime experience!
Have you witnessed any of Florida's rare and endangered wildlife in its oceans? What's the biggest fish you've caught while fishing in the state's waters? Let me know in the comments section below.