Do Seals ever concern you when wading waist deep in the salt? Do you ever feel unwelcome?

Pat Lat

Mad Flyentist
I think they're all pretty cool. I would pay a fish and a net to have that happen to me someday. What a story to be able to tell. Of course it sucks that they have to get in the way of angling, but still pretty cool to see. Of course I hope I never have a bad run in with one, I would think most of their routine is just posturing. Just enjoy it already ya grumps:) .
Been seeing a bunch at my current SRC hangout, the seals are sweet and I love watching them, they remind me of my dogs, inquisitive and playful. I do have mega respect for Bull Sea Lions, those guys scare me when they pop up and make that steam train sound and look intently my way. Big heads and focussed eyes of a true predator, I keep my options open when I am in my kayak and have them hovering. Despite that, I enjoy seeing them and their presence enhances my experience immensely.


Active Member
I'm ok with small harbor seals, but these Sea LIONs are no freaking joke. They look slow on land, but extremely agile in water. Pretty scary when you're in a small boat.


Active Member
A friend was fishing for pinks at Dash Point State Park and had a cleaned one on his stringer which was attached to his wading belt. A seal grabbed the salmon and took off with it, almost dragging my friend into the water, except that fortunately the salmon broke free of the stringer. Kind of scary... He now keeps any retained salmon in the plastic bag to reduce tempting any seals.



Active Member
Seals, no. Sea Lions - yes. Not sure there's much you could do to protect yourself in a kayak/pram/rowboat if one ever really had it in for you, but thankfully that's probably several orders of magnitude less likely than getting struck by lightning as long as you aren't deliberately antagonizing them and do what you can to keep your distance.

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Don't put your retained fish on a stringer if there are pinnipeds around. Hide 'em in a fish bag or cooler. There have been incidences of sea lions stealing and trying to steal fish from anglers here on the docks in the Westport boat basin.

Jeff Dodd

Active Member
I agree, the seals can get to close for comfort.

There is one beach I wade out and stand on the rocks for casting. Stay put as the tide comes in and the water is well above your belt when you get down from your casting rock. It makes for slow deliberate movements when playing a fish or escaping the curious pair of seals!
Two more words: Federally protected. 3 words: Here before you...

Personally, the more critters I see out there when fishing, the better the day is for me. One of the most memorable events occurred when, during the previous pink season I had a large harbor seal chase the fish I'd hooked through about 2 feet of water. I couldn't turn the fish in time to beach it, and the seal plucked it off the line. I certainly didn't begrudge it, as it was trying to get a meal and just survive. I just laughed and resumed fishing.
I would think that would cool as well....if I were standing on the beach. But if I were waist deep in the water and that happened, I'd probably freak out at first and then be thankful nothing went wrong, and then I'd talk about it like a hero. ;)
Is there a recorded attack by either of these marine mammals on a beachgoer in puget sound... or washington? It would be interesting to know.

They are a bit scary.
When I googled seal attacks I got some results. Not sure about the P-Sound. But one story that stuck was about a boy who got bit and dragged under water. He survived and "experts" say that the incident was an anomalie. But animals are animals and seals are wild animals, there's no telling what they may or may not do. IMHO it all depends on their mood. Bottom line is there are two ways things can go, you can be left alone because you are not perceived as a threat or you can be attacked because you are perceived as a threat or invasive to their environment/food source.

I'm ALWAYS aware of them and keep an eye on them when they are out and use caution. I wouldn't want to be "a first". I should probably take more care in how far out I wade. Their advantage is that if they want to they won't be seen until it's too late. ;). I've seen them hunt and maneuvere they are like friggin torpedoes!

We just need to respect them no matter how cute they are.

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