MAINE, USA — A Hampden man’s fishing trip off the coast of Florida turned up quite the catch during a vacation in May.
Michael Treworgy and his father were fishing for tarpon near Marco Island, Florida.
"The day started off really bad," Treworgy explained. "Every bait we put in the water, we couldn't even get into position before losing it to small sharpnose sharks."
Treworgy said they were running out of bait and were getting ready to head back to shore.
"I heard one of the lines hit and fast, and I knew it wasn't going to be a little shark," Treworgy said. "When I picked the rod up, I knew right away it wasn't a tarpon either. This fish was running fast and hard in a straight line."
It took him 45 minutes to reel the fish up to the side of his boat. That's when he finally got a glimpse at what he had hooked.
"When I saw the saw, I knew I had a fish of a lifetime on," Treworgy said.
He realized he had caught an endangered, prehistoric sawfish. The fish was estimated to be 13 feet long, weighing in at about 800 pounds.
"When we finally got it up, you know, it's a really rare fish, and you don't want to hurt it or anything," Treworgy said. "It was going to be a race to get the hook out as fast as we could. But fortunately the fish shook its head, which broke the rod tip but also popped the hook right out of its mouth."
Treworgy said before he even had time to recover from his amazing catch, his second pole got a hit.
"It was another 45 minute fight and another sawfish," he said. “It blew my mind. I never expected to get one sawfish, let alone two sawfish."
There may be as many as 5,000 or as few as 200 sawfish left in the world, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.