As fisherman Peter Kent reeled in his thrashing salmon net, he knew he had landed a good catch.
But even the seasoned trawlerman was stunned by just what he had caught. Thumping angrily at the bottom of his net was a 6ft long swordfish - about 3,000 miles off course from its normal hunting grounds.
Angler speared by a giant fish
The giant fish, weighing just under 60lb, is usually found in the balmy waters of the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
But yanked out of the sea just off the Northumberland coast near Newbiggin-by-the-sea it is the first time a swordfish catch has been documented in the chillier waters around the British Isles.
'I've certainly not caught anything like this before. I was just doing my normal drift-netting when I noticed this huge fish,' said father-of-two Mr Dent.
'I was only by myself. When I brought it in I realised what it was - I was amazed.
'It was thrashing about in the net, it was going wild in fact, and at first I though it was a shark and then I saw its sword. This is the first one I have ever seen and I was fortunate to catch it, but you could say the swordfish was not so lucky.'
Stunned local fishing expert Sam Harris said: 'It's a miracle. This fish is two or three thousand miles off course. It just proves how the water temperatures is hotting up.'
'Apparently the skipper tried to release it, but unfortunately, with its damn great beak, it was lashing around ripping the net to shreds, so he had to kill it,' added the 73-year-old angling writer and broadcaster.
The keen angler raced from his home to the Northumberland coast to catch a glimpse of the giant fish, which could become a more familiar sight if global warming continues.
'I couldn't believe it when someone told me, I thought it was a joke,' he said. 'It is absolutely amazing, it shouldn't be up here. But it doesn't look diseased and is in 100 per cent good condition, probably from feeding on the huge shoals of mackerel here.
'They are found in the North Atlantic, the Pacific, the Mediterranean, but certainly not in the North Sea. I have never heard of one taken on our coastline and I don't remember hearing of one taken anywhere around the British Isles. You never know what's going to turn up next.'
The once in a lifetime catch was brought into Blyth, Northumberland, where it was stored on ice before being sold to a local pub - where swordfish steaks have been put on the menu.
'I have never seen anything like it here, and everyone else has said the same,' said trader Mark Watson, of Blyth Fish. 'It's the kind of thing you see in Spain, but not here.
'When the fisherman brought it in to the premises I was quite shocked and many of my colleagues wanted to have a look as it's such an unusual catch.
'It goes to show the climate of the water is changing. Last year, someone brought in a tuna fish and a crayfish was also caught.'
In the past year, three Porbeagle sharks have ended up in fishermen's nets off the Northumberland coast and just last week there was a reported sighting of a Mako shark near Sunderland.
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