Fisherman catches 90-million-year-old fossil of extinct fish during fishing tournament

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By Phoebe Egoroff

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A fisherman has just snagged the catch of a lifetime, managing to pull up a 90-million-year-old fossil of an extinct fish in a South Dakota fishing tournament.

Andy Moore, from Omaha, Nebraska, was participating in a fishing tournament on South Dakota's Missouri River when he snagged his line on what he assumed to be a rock.

Speaking to WOWT, Moore described the feeling of fishing as: "That primordial jolt you get in your spine, and it goes right to your brain." Though, despite being an avid fisherman, he recalled that he wasn't faring too well in the tournament.

More on this story in the video below:

"I pitched my jig and it's horrible. It's like way left and I'm like, 'oh man,'" he said.

The fisherman, who was sinking his line in Yankton, South Dakota - around 160 miles from Omaha - decided to go and check out what had gotten caught on his line.

wp-image-1263167181 size-full
Moore was fishing in a tournament in Yankton, South Dakota - around 160 miles from Omaha, Nebraska. Credit: GoogleMaps

"I get up to it, and I'm like, 'Oh wow! That’s kind of cool.' I thought it was a big catfish skeleton or a deer skeleton. Something told me to take a picture of this," he added.

So, the fisherman took several images and uploaded them to his social media: "So I go back, and I'm like click, click, done. Back to the tournament."

It wasn't long before his photos received attention, with Moore telling KETV: "I have a friend DM me, a couple, going, 'Dude, did you know that's a 90-million-year-old fossil?'"

He continued: "Another guy called, 'dude do you realize what you have there?' I'm like, 'no.'"

After several more comments and messages, Moore decided to contact the Army Corps of Engineers, who he knew controlled the riverbed, per KETV. Having noted down the GPS point of where the fossil was, Moore and a retired geologist came back to the site of the alleged fossil.

"He jumps out of the boat. You know, he's in his boots. And I'm just like, he's just like, 'oh my god,'" Moore recounted. The fossil ended up being identified as a 90-million-year-old xiphactinus audax - AKA a 'bulldog' fish' - according to the geologist, who had a permit to excavate Moore's lucky find.

"Here you go guy, here is this rock that we need you to present to this geologist that needs to be on display for everybody in the world to enjoy and to look at for educational purposes," said Moore.

Per People, the fossil will be displayed at the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center in Nebraska.

Featured image credit: agefotostock / Alamy

Fisherman catches 90-million-year-old fossil of extinct fish during fishing tournament

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

A fisherman has just snagged the catch of a lifetime, managing to pull up a 90-million-year-old fossil of an extinct fish in a South Dakota fishing tournament.

Andy Moore, from Omaha, Nebraska, was participating in a fishing tournament on South Dakota's Missouri River when he snagged his line on what he assumed to be a rock.

Speaking to WOWT, Moore described the feeling of fishing as: "That primordial jolt you get in your spine, and it goes right to your brain." Though, despite being an avid fisherman, he recalled that he wasn't faring too well in the tournament.

More on this story in the video below:

"I pitched my jig and it's horrible. It's like way left and I'm like, 'oh man,'" he said.

The fisherman, who was sinking his line in Yankton, South Dakota - around 160 miles from Omaha - decided to go and check out what had gotten caught on his line.

wp-image-1263167181 size-full
Moore was fishing in a tournament in Yankton, South Dakota - around 160 miles from Omaha, Nebraska. Credit: GoogleMaps

"I get up to it, and I'm like, 'Oh wow! That’s kind of cool.' I thought it was a big catfish skeleton or a deer skeleton. Something told me to take a picture of this," he added.

So, the fisherman took several images and uploaded them to his social media: "So I go back, and I'm like click, click, done. Back to the tournament."

It wasn't long before his photos received attention, with Moore telling KETV: "I have a friend DM me, a couple, going, 'Dude, did you know that's a 90-million-year-old fossil?'"

He continued: "Another guy called, 'dude do you realize what you have there?' I'm like, 'no.'"

After several more comments and messages, Moore decided to contact the Army Corps of Engineers, who he knew controlled the riverbed, per KETV. Having noted down the GPS point of where the fossil was, Moore and a retired geologist came back to the site of the alleged fossil.

"He jumps out of the boat. You know, he's in his boots. And I'm just like, he's just like, 'oh my god,'" Moore recounted. The fossil ended up being identified as a 90-million-year-old xiphactinus audax - AKA a 'bulldog' fish' - according to the geologist, who had a permit to excavate Moore's lucky find.

"Here you go guy, here is this rock that we need you to present to this geologist that needs to be on display for everybody in the world to enjoy and to look at for educational purposes," said Moore.

Per People, the fossil will be displayed at the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center in Nebraska.

Featured image credit: agefotostock / Alamy