A Maine angler traveled all the way down the East Coast in search of warm weather and big catches. But what he didn’t expect was to find a prehistoric, endangered fish on the other end of his line.
Recently, Michael Treworgy of Hampden, Maine and his father were exploring the waters near Marco Island. Their fishing trip had a frustrating start. For much of the day, Treworgy was fighting with small sharks that kept stealing their bait. After hours of monitoring the lines, the father-son duo decided to pull up their lines and call it a day. But then something magical happened.
“I heard one of the lines hit. That hit hard and fast. I knew it wasn’t going to be a little shark,” Treworgy told Maine News Center.
Sure enough, a 13-foot, 800-pound, dinosaur-like creature was tugging (or rather, yanking) on the line. After a 45-minute battle at the reel, Treworgy managed to get a glimpse of his catch. Turns out, he had caught the incredibly endangered sawfish.
Maine Angler Manages to Hook Second Endangered Fish
Because of the condition of the species, Treworgy couldn’t keep the endangered fish. Treworgy got a glimpse of the prehistoric fish, but soon after, the endangered animal snapped the pole.
But there wasn’t much time to marvel at the once-in-a-lifetime catch.
“Before I even had time to really recover, take a breath from that, I heard the second line on the boat hit,” Treworgy recalled.
Shockingly, Treworgy had another sawfish on his second line. This one wasn’t quite as powerful as the first but was just as mesmerizing. Of course, he and his father had to snap a few photos before they safely released the sawfish back into the warm waters.
The Maine angler still can’t believe his luck.
“I’m still amazed every time I look at it. I can’t believe I caught it,” he said. “It blew my mind I never expected to catch one sawfish in my life let alone two back to back.”
Likewise, Treworgy’s wife, Alexandria was just as ecstatic about the catch.
“It’s a pretty big deal. So I was very excited for him,” she said. “And my first reaction was ‘What a terrible day to miss fishing.'”
Maine Angler Stresses Importance of Safely Releasing Sawfish
As incredible of a trophy as this fish would be, Treworgy’s priority after hooking these two fish was to ensure they made it back into the water.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., there may be as few as 200 or as many as 5,000 sawfish left in the world, and most of them are in Florida.
“We are seeing a troubling number of incidents of mishandling by anglers, most of them coming through social media,” says Sonja Fordham, president of Shark Advocates International.
Needless to say, it is paramount that anglers like Treworgy ensure the security of the species.