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I dont really post fish pics, but, this is an exception because I can't believe this happened. Sight fishing for reds on an incoming and I saw a bunch moving in on the tide. I saw the tails/swirls so I thought they were reds, but, they kinda swam weird. Ended up hitting a couple on the head and spooked so I changed to a shrimpish looking fly and had an incoming shot at one. Dropped it in front and gave it a twitch and it crushed it. Next thing I know a see the saw come out of the water. Stunned because I didn't even know this was possible. Super skinny water.



 

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That's pretty damn cool. Surprised it didn't cut you off immediately.
 

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We’ve caught our share of small saws on flies... In every case they’re hooked in the saw since that’s what they attack with. They first attack with their bills then come back and pick up with their mouths which are identical to a stingray’s mouth (and in the same location...).
Once you hook one in the saw it’s thrashing around promptly wraps the leader around it so the fish can’t get free -without your assistance...​
 

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I have hooked two and only landed one. Can't imagine trying that on fly. Congratulations.
 

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That's quite a catch... I think I remember a recent post, maybe Lemay, about this being the time of year when they show up in Mingo...

How the heck do you handle one of those things to safely unhook and release ?
 

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For the little ones... get them alongside then carefully grab the tip end of the bill (correct term, the rostrum...) with thumb and forefinger right in the middle so you're not touching those very sharp teeth - while leaving the fish in the water. That will allow you to at least try to unwind the leader that will be wrapped up on the bill.... I do the exact same thing with really big ones (my biggest at the boat... about 14 feet long, counting the bill or rostrum....they do get much bigger). If they stay calm, get as much leader as possible off of the bill -then clip off the remaining portion as close to the mouth as possible (if you used bait...), if you used a lure you should be able to remove it with a de-hooker... since with a lure or a fly it's very very difficult to hook one in the mouth...

Now for the fun part - the bigger ones not only don't stay calm for very long at all - but their thrashing around is dangerous since they're also swinging a big stick with nasty sharp teeth up and down each side -as hard as a grown man can swing a bat.... I always have my anglers stand in the center of the skiff when I'm trying to release a big one since they'll swing that bill across the gunnels at times... My key to letting loose is simply the moment it's hard to hold onto the tip of the bill - and when I let go I get my hand away from the fish - right then... I have had the tips of their teeth puncture the gloves I wear as well - but not with any great effect...

Other places in Florida the sawfish is a very rare sight - but they're making a comeback... The cause? the net ban has removed inshore nets and they're what caused the saws to almost disappear world wide... Any sawfish that swims into a net gets caught and just can't get free (destroying the net in the process... ).

There are lots and lots of sawfish in the 'Glades if you know where to look - because the Park has been net free for 70 years (since it was established in 1948) so they've flourished.... Find one in shallow water (a ten footer can come up into less than two feet of water because of how their bodies are shaped...) and you quickly see that they're colored just like a mud ray - the only thing different is the pinkish colored fins (they look like moving triangles as they swim along...). The saw has two dorsal fins - and a tail that's shaped just like the fins (the top part of it...). Our first sighting is usually three triangles moving slowly across the bottom (if each triangle is five feet from the next one... you're looking at a really big one... ). Just like stingrays, saws will lay on the bottom in the mud at times then explode into motion as you get too close... We usually find them while poling up into shallow mud flats looking for reds and snook in winter... they like warm corners just like every other fish in the interior when water temps are down...

Just nothing like the 'Glades...
 
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