Nathan Martin, a man fishing from Jennette’s Pier in Nags-Head, NC may have been smiling when he felt a 9-pound tug on the end of his line last week, but he was more than surprised when he pulled a large sheepshead fish from the water and it was smiling back! Two rows of what looked like human teeth lined the mouth of the bizarre creature who posed with Martin for a photo that later went viral on Facebook August 3. Though the fish is common to the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, its strange dental features never cease to catch fisherman off guard.
Sheepshead use their strong molars to bite into hard shellfish such as Oysters and clams, and they are quite tasty to eat. Though their appearance may scare some swimmers, in an interview with Snopes David Catania of the California Academy of Science said, “They pose no real threat to humans unless harassed,” and “I would not hesitate to swim in waters inhabited by these fish.”
That is welcome news for east coast swimmers who caught wind of this story because sheepshead fish can be found from Florida to Maine and all along the gulf coast. If you would like to catch one of these fish yourself, they like to hang out near rocks, jetties and reefs, and Martin revealed that he used sand fleas as bait.
“It’s a very good fight when you’re fighting on the line, it’s a really good catch, and it tastes very good,” Martin said, according to Daily Mail. Martin plans to mount the sheepshead on his wall.