Seas lion Scare

#16
My brother in law and I were up below Bonneville gear fishing for sturgeon a couple years back and he hooks into what he thinks is a keeper, jumps up on the stern of the boat and starts reeling like crazy. BTW this why he looses more steelhead than he lands, but thats another story. Any way pretty quick he can't reel fast enough to keep pressure on the fish and thinks maybe he lost it but keeps reeling any way. All of a sudden the rod tip takes a hard turn to the right and he's all pumped up. About 1 second later a monster sea lion surfaces about 8 or 10 feet behind the boat, biggest thing I have ever seen in the water that wasn't a whale. Well he's still standing on the gunwale of the boat, it's rough the boat is bobbing like cork and there is about a 5 knot current. In all the surprise Ted just about goes in the drink, his 5 yr old boy is laughing like it's saturday morning cartoons and I'm trying to figure out how cut the anchor loose and get boat started to go retrieve his dad. Fortunately, everything settled down pretty quick.

Worst part, fish wasn't a keeper.
 

Jeff Dodd

Active Member
#17
Kerfwappi - I know what you are talking about. I was in my 14' boat once when one of these HUGE sea lion or elephant seal took up chasing something right in front of my bow, as if my boat was not even there. The size and speed of this mammal was like nothing I've seen - right up there with an Orca for that short burst. Imtimadating for sure!
 
#18
Intimidating is right. In that last 20 yards, I was frantically going through my inventory in my mind trying to find something to defend myself with and there was nothing. I was looking at the rocks at my feet, 4 ft under. Realizing I was screwed, I was going through all the scenarios in my head. Getting bit in the leg and being pulled under. Trying to swim away with waders on. Punching snouts, gouging eyes and luckily came up with slapping the water with my rod to try and deter the attack. A Dupont spinner would have been comforting. Well, all is well that ends well.

Kerfwappie
 

Smalma

Active Member
#19
Have had more than one adult Chinook taken by a sea lion. More often than not it has been after a fish was released but have them taken them while I was fighting the fish with a couple "taken" within 10 feet of the boat.


However the scariest sea lion story happened to a friend at this time of the year. He was fishing the Whidbey beaches for steelhead with gear. A there were several sea lions in the area including one that was only 50 feet or so of the beach. Much as in Kerappie's tale as the "lion" was moving towards the angler when the water "exploded" and orca took the adult sea lion. Water, blood and sea lion parts were flying everwhich way - buddy nearly wetted his pants and could not get out of the water fast enough. An hour later as he related the story he still was severely shaken; which is easily understandable.

While such an encounter would be awesome to see I don't think I would really like that sort of "ring side seat".

Tight lines
Curt
 

Randy Lindahl

Paintin' or Fishin'
#21
There were 4 of us lined up on the beach thigh deep at PNP and good ol' Lion just about mowed over the first two and we just looked with amazement as a 15lb salmon was booking it between us and the beach. No body saw it coming. Woke me up!
Randy
 
#22
I saw an Orca take a sea lion at Ft Casey about 10 years ago. There were about a dozen fishermen there and once our jaws stopped dropping we gave that Orca a whole lot of verbal support.
 
#23
Awesome stories guys!

I don't know what to think for sure, haven't had the big bad sea lion encounters (yet), but I'm mostly down with the "it was chasing a fish" theory but that could be optimism.

I'll treat these guys like I treat the brown bears in Alaska: give 'em room and remember that it is their fishing ground and I am just visiting.
 

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
#24
I had lots of encounters with sea lions over the years when I was surfing. The big ones can be a bit unnerving when they get up close.

I had a medium sized one swim underneath my board from behind and grab a steelhead that was trying to hide from it underneath me, and when the beast went right between my legs, knocking them outward, I nearly jumped out of my wetsuit. This was in the corner by the jetty at Westhaven, in late Dec in the early 90's.
When the sea lion surfaced with the fish in its mouth, my surf buddy (an experienced steelhead fisherman) was only 10 or 15 feet away and he positively ID'ed it as steel. It was a chromer.
Up until that point, I was unaware of the nature of the drama going on under the surface. We saw the sea lions (three of 'em) working after something, as they were swimming around just outside the break. But that was (is) a common occurrence, and we paid them no mind.

The big bulls really make me nervous, as I consider all major predators to be individuals, who may not behave according to how we expect them to, based on what we think we know about their behaviors. Who knows if they are relatively "crazy" or what?

.
 
#25
Had a harbor seal swim up beside me once while fishing in a river.
Came right towardsme, thought it was a big chinook.
Believe they are rare up here.
He surfaced about ten feet from me.
Saw him later on downstream eating dead salmon.
Guess he didn't like live ones.
Have seen them two miles up from the ocean .
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
#28
However the scariest sea lion story happened to a friend at this time of the year. He was fishing the Whidbey beaches for steelhead with gear. A there were several sea lions in the area including one that was only 50 feet or so of the beach. Much as in Kerappie's tale as the "lion" was moving towards the angler when the water "exploded" and orca took the adult sea lion. Water, blood and sea lion parts were flying everwhich way - buddy nearly wetted his pants and could not get out of the water fast enough. An hour later as he related the story he still was severely shaken; which is easily understandable.
Hmm...What would one use for crafting a sea lion pattern?
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
#30
Hows about the whole skin...one per fly...and a rod that will cast an actual garden hose for the line. Something like a fifty weight...