VENICE, FL (WPTV) - A group of fishermen in Venice, Florida lured in a big catch - a 12-foot hammerhead shark.

That in itself was quite enough excitement for them, until they realized, the shark was pregnant.

The fishing pier in Venice juts out 700 feet into the gulf, luring fishermen to see what surprises the water holds below, and last weekend, a group of friends caught a big one.

After wrestling the line for a couple of hours, Noe Campos jumped in after the line got wrapped around a pole.

"People call me crazy but, I'd rather save a fish," said Campos.

That 'fish' was a 12-foot hammerhead shark.

And once they brought it to shore, they realized there was a lot more rescuing to do.

"As soon as they roll it over, you can see this big hole," said Andrew Weedman, one of the fishermen.

The shark was injured.

"It had a big radius bite, a big bite mark taken out of it," Campos said.

Then they noticed something - little baby sharks were inside.

The female hammerhead was pregnant.

"We seen [sic] the tail, pushing out. They were trying to push their heads out, so i'm guessing the mom tried to give birth but she didn't have the strength to push them out," said Campos.

They pulled them out one by one.

"They were wiggling and squirming. They were definitely very alert," recalled Weedman.

Eventually,they pulled out twenty baby pups.

"I stood in the water for a couple of seconds to make sure they swam off good. I held them and as soon as I put them out, voom! They took off," remembers Campos.

Unfortunately, the mother shark did not survive her injuries.

Campos is disappointed, but he's hoping his actions may have saved another generation of hammerheads.

Experts say hammerheads are considered endangered around the world, and fishermen should not drag them to the beach.