Tags: rare | sawfish | florida | 500 | pounds

Rare Sawfish, Weighing In at 500 Pounds, Snagged Off Florida Coast

By Nick Sanchez   |   Tuesday, 27 May 2014 10:44 AM

A rare sawfish weighing 500 pounds was caught by a group of young men on a midnight fishing trip in Florida over the Memorial Day weekend.

Dustin Richter and his four friends were casting their reels in the Boynton Beach Inlet early Sunday morning when they got a tug that nearly knocked them over, NBC's WPTV West Palm Beach reported.

"We got in close, and it didn't seem that big then. We saw the entire fish, and saw it was huge, and the fight was on," Richter told local reporters. '"Oh my God. It's a saw shark.' That's the first thing I thought, the rarest species of all. We've never even seen one in person, pictures or anything."

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The group reeled the fish in toward the shore, and flipped on their video camera, catching some amazing footage as they wrestled it into the shallows to get a better look. They said it took nearly an hour to tire the big fish out.

The sawfish turned out to be 11-feet-long, with a roughly 4-foot snout that's covered in jagged teeth. The creature is technically a fish, but closely resembles a shark.

"He was just so powerful, just so strong of a fish. It's like he wasn't even hooked. He kept swimming out. It was like he wasn't even on our line," said Richter. "All that adrenaline was pumping while we're pull him up," he told WSVN Miami.

After capturing all the video footage they needed, the group cut the line, and allowed the sawfish to return to the sea. The fish is an endangered species, so they're not allowed to be caught and kept.

"Just incredible. That's the word I've been saying. We are going to remember this for the rest of our lives," Richter said.

Lucky for him, the fish left behind a tooth after the struggle, giving the group a memento of the rare occasion.

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