Naples resident Alex Pino shared this video of a “huge” smalltooth sawfish that was caught off the Naples Pier on April 28.
Pino said he was sight-seeing at the popular landmark when he saw a commotion at the end of the pier. “I knew somebody must have caught something interesting so I headed that way,” he said.
The endangered fish was too big for the fisherman to pull up to remove the hook. The video shows the fish was dragged to the shore where several men attempted to remove the hook as it thrashed in the water. “That’s when we all got to see how huge this sawfish is! I’ve never seen anything like it in person,” Pino said.
Sawfish can grow up to 18 feet long and weigh 700 pounds, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Once the line was released, the free sawfish swam back into the Gulf as the crowd cheered.
According to the FWC, smalltooth sawfish is only found in Florida waters, where it is a year-round resident:
Juvenile smalltooth sawfish are year-round residents of shallow coastal waters, especially estuaries. Larger sawfish are found closer to shore in the spring and in deeper waters the rest of the year.
Read more about the endangered sawfish by the FWC.
About Jigsha Desai
Jigsha Desai is the digital director at the Naples Daily News. She oversees all digital content operations. She joined the Daily News in 2013.