Ian Atherton was visiting Florida from Great Britain with one thing on his mind, catch a shark. While fishing in Cocoa Beach, Florida in 35-feet-deep water and using bluefish for bait Atherton hooked a fish that he would battle for the next hour. It turned out to be a 13-foot smalltooth sawfish which are extremely rare.
The fish was released safely and later in the day Atherton caught several king mackerel, but he never caught a shark.
Smalltooth sawfish are only found in Florida waters and typically have about 25 teeth on each side of their snout. The teeth are swung back and forth to hit and stun their prey. Over the last 100 years their populations have declined as their teeth get caught in commercial fishing nets. They have been protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act since 2003 and must be release unharmed immediately if caught.