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I am curious to know how much of a threat that seals and sea lions are to fishermen. I am thinking about float tubing some quiet bays for sea-runs and salmon, but all of them have seals.

I'd love to get some input from you guys on this or stories. I really want to try it out, but am a bit apprehensive.

Looking forward for all your input.

Todd
 

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Big, curious and intimidating... but can't say that I'm familiar with an attack on a human. I'd guess they would be more aggressive/defensive if you came close to a rearing area. I'm sure they'll be interested in the struggling fish on your line :) When in doubt use the Bob Lawless Cougar Punch (works on land or water).
 

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While I've seen seals steal fish off peoples lines, I've never seen one be agressive to a person, unless cornered and/or threatened. As Nailknot said, they're mostly just curious. It's like anything in nature; snakes, spiders, bears, cougars... Respect them, and they will respect you. Keep your distance, and otherwise, they won't bother you.

worldanglr
http://www.worldanglr.com/

Calling Fly Fishing a hobby is like calling Brain Surgery a job.
-Paul Schullery
 

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Personally, I think they are of no danger, never having heard of an attach on a humun being.
Here's a small story. I fished commercially for salmon as you may know (see the Salmon Killers on the articles page on this site). The sea lion was a huge problem for us. Often they would follow the boat and each time I raised a salmon they would bite it off.
We complained bitterly to all who would listen that the lions were killing us and causing the lose of millions of dollars of fish revenue.
Well, we got our way and were told that if we were being hasseled, we could kill them.
Then I got my chance about a month later. He grabbed all my fish and I was furious as I needed the money, So I got out my Ruger Mini-14, a stainless steel semi-automatic in .223 caliber. And man, I was good with that thing.
So I decide to kill him. He comes up about 15 feet from the boat and stares at me. I can see a smile although I believe they wear that smile all the time; it's just there. Then I look him over and I estimate his weight at a thousand pounds or more. One little touch of the trigger and the bullet will go between his eyes and he will be in sea lion heaven.
I just couldn't do it. I could not send that large an animal to the bottom over a few fish. Softie, I guess, but I have killed several elk and many deer in my day as a big game hunter. But this was different somehow. I detest them as they get in the mouth of streams and eat nearly every steehead that is returning to the sea. If this could be stopped, we would have way many more big fish. I don't know the answer to this one; I just know that I'm not part of the solution.:professor :dunno
 

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Just an Old Man
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I forgot what I was supposed to remember.

Boy,what a softy. You'd shoot a poor defenseless deer with the big brown eyes that has done nothing to you over a Seal Or Sealion that is eating up your lively hood. :rofl

The unkown poster:beathead
 

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Yea, ya old fert. But 15 ft. away? Smiling? A thousand pounds of animal? You're going to waste the whole thing even though I am told by experts that it tastes just like chicken? You're raping the ocean of its fish already and now you're going to kill its animals?
Jim, my friend, you've got to answer these questions before you shoot up everything that moves that you don't like. I don't want to read that you opened fire at the crowds on opening day because you just couldn't take it anymore.
Slow down, Jim, sit in the shade for awhile and cool off.
babby :beer2
 

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Todd, During my 20 plus years of surfing in Washington and Oregon, I have had many up-close encounters with sea lions (both California and Stellar) and harbor seals and never was attacked. I was told by an Oregon surfer of an incident where a surfer was chased all the way to the beach by an agressive bull sea lion during mating season.

On several occasions over the years I have had large bull sea lions rear up out of the water within spitting distance, snort, stare out of curiosity, and then dive with a huge splash and swim away. I was always a bit freaked by these encounters, but was never attacked. They were just checking me out.

Once while surfing with only one other surfer off the South Jetty in Westport on a cold, offshore-wind day in the middle of January, several sea lions were swimming all around us, presumably chasing fish. Suddendly, something very large shot between my legs while I was sitting on my board watching the horizon for a wave. I nearly jumped out of my suit! Then, about 20 feet away a sea lion surfaced with a steelhead in its mouth! (The other surfer, a steelhead fisherman, insisted he got a positive I.D. on the fish). The sea lion was going after the fish, which might have tried to hide underneath me as I was the only available cover in its attempt to escape. I'm sure that incident scalped a few years off the end of my life, as I began to notice some white hairs not long after.
On many occasion I have also enjoyed observing these creatures bodysurfing, usually catching an outside wave and riding a good distance before pulling out. As if to show us human surfers "how its really done!"

Harbor seals are very playful and curious. I have had them "tag" or bump my foot (while sitting on my board waiting for the next set) and then surface not far away, often behind me, diving when I turned to look at them.

I wouldn't worry too much about them. However, if you see one on the beach acting strange (doesn't immediately head for the water when you get close) or moving lethargicly, STAY AWAY from it. Most likely it is suffering from leptospirosis, a liver ailment that is communicable to humans and dogs, and has symptoms similar to hepatitis.
In any population of sea lions, there are always a few that are carrying this disease.

Hope this helps.

Jimbo
 

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Just an Old Man
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I forgot what I was supposed to remember.

Babby,I can't shoot anything.I don't own a gun. But the way everyone is talking these days about all the crazy's out there it seems that maybe I should carry one.

I don't think I rapping the oceans or rivers of anything. Have you seen my catch record lately. It's rivers lots me 0,and I haven't been out in the salt as of yet so my catch out there is 0 also.

And as going anywhere near the water on any opening day I'd have to be off my rocker to do that.

Jammy
 

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once while i was clambering over some rocks just north of the mukilteo ferry, i nearly stepped right on a huge sea lion. i nearly dropped trout when i saw that beast. i screamed like a little girl as the mammoth turned and beelined for the waterline. ive had them follow around our boat while trolling for salmon but ive never had them act aggressively. its easy to say that they will cause no harm while im sitting here on dry land, but i may change my mind if one pops up a few feet from my tube. id be shakin in my waders for sure.
 

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Todd,
I could relate the story of the fisherman who was feeding a sea lion his left over bait. When he ran out of goodies the sea lion took umberage and boarded his boat, fisherman left and sea lion totalled out the inside of boat.
A question, are you going to keep any fish? If so that may pose a problem.
The Sound does not have very courtious boaters. Some of them like to see how close they can come to guys in small boats, just to give them a thrill. I have had it happen to me nearly every time out on the water. Also a float tube is very hard to see on the water. Take a knee jerk boater in his 21 footer racing along the beach at 40 or so mph and throw in a dude in a float tube minding his own business and it spells bad news. In the past five or six years it has gotten really bad out on the salt. So much so I will not fish on the weekends at all and only early mornings during the week. Once the sun hits the water the jet skis come out and the partiers and then it gets real bad.
Unless you have access to some private remote beach I would be wary I going out there in a tube.
Dave
 

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Smells like low tide.
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Right you are, Dave. Nothin' makes the water dangerous like speedboats and alcohol. Us humans are the most dangerous and unpredictable animals any of us are liable to run into in this state, except maybe for cougars. But then, we all know about the famous "Bob Lawless Cougar Punch," so its just the yahoos and miscreants we gotta look out for.

Yesterday evening while fishing my way back downstream in my canoe, I passed some rowdy campers. As I was going around the bend, I heard several rapid-fire shots. Sounded like .22 and target practice, but it gave me the willies and had me wondering if they did that in an attempt to intimidate me. I'm seriously considering selling my 12 gage pump (Haven't hunted ducks or anything else since '66) and using the proceeds for a sidearm.

Jimbo:smokin
 

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Jimbo,
Sorry to hear about your adrenalin rush. And so right you are about the yahoos and miscreants that are inhabiting this once very courteous state. Polite has gone away and me me me has taken its place. It is on the streams, lakes, sound and places people hunt. It is way to uptight of a society around here.
Dave
 

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Jimbo, Dave and others,
It's not just here in Washington or now in the present. It has always been like that.
As a teenager I was out screwing around with a friend of mine. I had my Win. Model 12 and he had his Rem. 30/06.
We were standing on the side of this crater like terrain with a lake at the bottom when soil starting spurting up at our feet. We could hear the little snap snap of .22's.
Across the lake these two kids were shooting at us! Well, my shotgun was worthless because the range was at least 1/4 of a mile. But I shot back for the noise effect.
Ross, my friend, dropped to a sitting position and opened up with the big boy. Everytime he pulled the trigger water would shoot into the air about 12 ft. up. He would raise the rifle and then shoot again. Finally he had the elevation and the windage worked out and he poured it on.
The little bastards now ran. I said, "Ross, you could have killed those kids." "So what," he says,"they were shooting at us." A little chill went down my spine.
Babbax( x( x( x(
 

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I agree with Bob. Except for a couple points: There are places in the US where you just don't see the poaching & aggression you see here no matter how "rural and poor." And Puget Sound boaters- the worst boaters I have seen anywhere (mixed with some of the most experienced and best, just few in numbers). I hardly have a chance to worry about cougars and sea lions with the yahoos in the water and woods.
 

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As an avid SCUBA diver I have some experience with the Puget Sound waters and just wanted to give you a warning. Be sure you check the tide charts and go during slack tides. A nice calm looking bay can be quite deceptive and as I am sure you know, you don't create much thrust in a float tube so fighting a tide would be futile.

My buddy was diving near Three Tree Point near Des Moines which is usually pretty peaceful, but he and a buddy went out too close to the point and were pulled out. They ended having to be rescued by boat (luckily there was a SCUBA class going on at the same location so they were able to call for assistance).

That's my two cents.

Tom.
 

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I lost a outboard to a sea lion fishing out of a small boat I started taking out when I was a teenager with no problems,then april before last one of the livijng targets was trying to jump in the boat. hit him with the outboard as I fled away and down it went and stranded by the sea donkey I was. have had numourous occasions of sea lions popping up 10 ft from me and scaring me silly fishing around southworth and manchester from shore. all in all the indian chum netters got alot of them and netting chico creek so hard this year cleaned a bunch out they said.



saltwater flyfishing in the northwest is a science as well as an art
 
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