They're gonna need a bigger boat.
The company, called Sanctuary Marine Bermuda, wrote that "Hurricane Nicole blew in some sea monsters," including the giant spiny lobster.
The company added: "Hopefully people will see the hook in it's toe (sic) and realize we caught it by accident and only pulled it on land to get the hook out and untangle it from our fishing line before letting it back go."
To prove it was no fish story, the fishermen posed for quick photos on the boat.
The boat was reportedly fishing for snapper at night, hoping that the recent hurricane had brought fish near the surface. (Learn how spiny lobsters can be fished more sustainably.)
Lobsters are ten-legged crustaceans closely related to shrimp and crabs. These benthic, or bottom-dwelling, creatures are found in all of the world’s oceans, as well as brackish environments and even freshwater. They have poor eyesight but highly developed senses of taste and smell. They feed primarily on fish and mollusks, but will consume algae and other plant life—and even other lobsters.
Lobsters grow throughout their lives, which is why they can reach impressive sizes. They are known to live for at least 50 years, unless they end up on someone's plate.
The lobster caught off Bermuda is most likely a Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus), a species that lives in warm water and lacks claws, unlike the more iconic American and European clawed lobsters. (Learn about the NFL player injured in a hunt for the lobster earlier this year.)
The world's largest known lobster was measured at 44 pounds and was caught off Nova Scotia in 1977. Much of that weight was found in its meaty claws.
Caribbean spiny lobsters are officially listed as "data deficient" by the IUCN, with further research needed on its conservation status. Although fisheries off Florida and Cuba are thought to be relatively stable and well managed, the species may be overexploited elsewhere in its range, which stretches south to Brazil, IUCN notes. Landings of spiny lobsters peaked in the mid-1990s and have shown some declines since, causing some alarm among fishermen.
But the species is better prepared to find its way than most: Caribbean spiny lobsters appear to have a compass sense, possibly mediated by tiny chunks of magnetic iron. (Read more about the spiny lobster's magnetic sense.)