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Thread: My biggest fish ever hooked was a whale and I got him in the mouth...

  1. #1

    Default My biggest fish ever hooked was a whale and I got him in the mouth...

    That other thread "How bad have you seen it" made me want to post this story.

    Not sure if any of you have encountered this before but this was probably the scariest moment in my entire life.

    Last year my brother, my gf, my mom and myself rented a cabin a skiff and fished out of Coffman cove for a week. I had been reading these awesome posts by 270ti about his King fishing exploits out of Craig so my brother and I decided to drive the boat to Craig one day and try it out.

    The weather was awesome, the fishing was pretty good as well, but the most memorable thing for us was the half a dozen feeding frenzies we saw that day.
    Within 5 mins of leaving the dock, we saw about 50+ gulls, just as many puffins, and about 20 bald eagles all diving in the water, chasing herring. The water was boiling with life.

    Now, Im originally from the East coast and seeing feeding birds like that has a pavlovian effect on me. I start drooling and casting directly at the birds no matter what because if this happens to me in Massachusetts, or in Rhode Island, it means there are some crazy fish underneath that will eat ANYTHING. Seriously. I've seen clips of dudes throwing scissors, screwdrivers etc. and ANYTHING works when the stripers or blues go crazy.

    We were too far from that frenzy to try and fish around it so we just kept going to our fishing spot.

    Throughout the day we saw a few more frenzies, but all out of reach.

    On the way back home, we saw another feeding frenzy, bigger than all the others, and it was close enough to reach!!

    So my brother gets in real close, maybe within 40 feet or so and we start casting spoons in there that were the same size as the herring.

    1st drop...... nothing.
    2nd drop...... nothing.
    3 drop......... nothing.
    4th drop.................."What the hell dude. Whats happening? Where are the fish?"
    5th drop...........my brother hooks a puffin!

    yay! Poultry tonight! (thats a joke)

    Anyways, after 10 minutes or so, we managed to hook 1 puffin and a few very small rock fish.

    We could not understand what was happening because in our minds, there had to be some kings or cohos or rockfish that were wrangling all these fish. Why would all of these fish ball up in one spot if nothing is keeping them pinned to the surface????!!!!

    I say to my brother "Get me right on top of the freaking ball of herring"

    As I approach the ball of herring, I can see its THICK! The gulls and eagles are deafening! Its like we're in this crazy space owned by these birds.

    I toss my 3oz shiny spoon into the herring and its so thick, the my lure doesnt even start sinking right away.
    As we watch my lure disappear, we're waiting anxiously for this massive King that we're hoping for.

    Instead?

    A humpback whale comes up within 5 feet of the boat, swallows EVERYTHING in front of us. And Im talking about a whale so close that I saw those weird barnacle type things all over its lips, I saw the scrapes on its face, like a used up leather couch, and those weird looking feather type teeth in its mouth. If I wanted to, I could have smacked it with rod.

    1 second later: "bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" The whale is just peeling line of of my reel!

    My brother starts yelling at me because Im actually stunned with fear for the 1st time in my life.

    "snap your line! DUDE SNAP YOUR LINE! JOE!! SNAP YOUR FREAKING LINE!!!"
    I snap out of it, the gulls and eagles get even louder now. I can hardly hear him.

    My brother gets on the motor, and starts bolting out of there, but as we're leaving, another whale breaches only about 30 feet away from us.
    So my brother and I scream "Oh crap!!!"
    Im thinking that if we're going too fast, maybe a whale is gonna breach right in front of us! So he stops and we're unsure about what to do.

    I start knocking a metal spoon against the boat thinking to myself that this will let the whales know we're here!
    In hindsight, I feel like such an idiot but I really didnt know how to react.

    Anyways, after banging on the boat for 5 minutes, the frenzy slowed down and so did my heart rate.

    With the final gull finally quieted down, my brother looks at me and says: "That whale stared at me man. Its eyeball was as big as my head...He stared directly into my soul!!"

    We both start cracking up at his stupid line and go off to find more rock fish.

    What a thrill.
    Random guy in Fly shop: "Where did this happen???? In real life or in Alaska?"

  2. #2
    Member powderhound's Avatar
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    I hope this story is true!
    Amazing read there man. I really enjoyed that one.

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    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    What an awesome adventure!......glad to see that you practice catch and release!

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    Haha, great story.

  5. #5
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Too funny Johnathon!!!
    I had a similar experience in Florida once.
    Had a manta ray come along when I was fishing off a pier.
    Doesn't take long to empty a spool!!!!

  6. #6
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    I have a similar story (second hand). A friend I fish with for salmon and albacore was having a good day trolling for albacore. He trolled through a frenzy of fish, bait, and birds, and hooked up 4 albacore. He got the first 3 in, but the fourth was bigger and taking longer to bring to the gaff. It made several short runs and finally one of the guys grabbed the leader. He turned his head and called for the gaff. Just as he turned back to the fish, a 30' killer whale came up and swallowed the 40# albacore in one bite! Everybody agreed that it was a good time to find another hot bite, preferably a mile or two away...

    Big_E

  7. #7
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Good story, you took me right there with you in the boat. It was a trip down memory lane.

    Fishing out of an 18' Bayrunner out by Horse Island, near Juneau. Just the dog & I soaking herring hoping for a but. About 8 whales are doing air circle fishing some 1/4 mile off. Each time they swim a little closer then put on a show of spraying fish, birds and baleen.
    I dig out the video camera and start filming. Then they surface in a huge wad of whales right off the starboard gunnel.

    I didn't think twice and dropped my herring down as they swam 5' under the skiff. Had the old VCR camera rolling and telling Tuck that our luck was about to change. Waves are rocking the boat. Talk about exciting! He was up on the gunnel watching them intently pass below us. It was almost scary as the immense size of them dwarfs the little island you are on and you are rocking in their turbulence.

    Never got a bite. One funny memory was the clam juice shower as they exhausted right next to us, big eyes taking us in. It was like someone opened a can of clams and sprayed the juice over your head. Stunk all night, but made me smile as the dog started barking.
    It wasn't the smartest thing I ever did, but it was pure instinct to drop that hook. And a relief to watch them swim away. I would have been up all night gutting one of those!
    Live life and love it
    Love life and live it

  8. #8
    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    I accidently snagged one out of Seward back in the 90's. Had started using Spectra line, so had to try and get a knife out while holding on to a rod bent over double and drag peeling out. The boat Capt came to my rescue and cut the line, but lost almost the entire spool of line. Funny thing we were in fairly close to shore in about 100 ft of water.... catching black rock fish. Only one fisherman got a photo, and he never sent me a copy. (even though I told him I'd pay!)

    Chris

  9. #9

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    a whale isn't a fish....sorry i couldn't resist.

  10. #10
    Member cod's Avatar
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    As long as we're telling whales tales....In '83', myself and 3 other guys hired a 32 ft fishing vessel out of Kodiak to take us deer hunting off Rasberry/Afognak area. We got 3 deer onboard and hoisted them up on the riggin as we motored to another place. We were throwing bits and parts overboard and suddenly we realized we had company. Along side our boat swims up two Orcas (Killer whales). One Mom, and her young one. They had been feeding on the pieces we threw over. Mom didnt want the little one to get too close to us but we had slowed down and continued to coax them over with bits. Reluctantly, Mom slowly allowed the young one to get right next to the boat. As soon as the little one went by, Mom followed right behind. As Mom went 4' by the side of our boat, she rolled on her side and looked directly into our eyes. Is was obvious to all of us aboard that she was telling us that if we harmed her babe, we were going to be sunk. When an animal that big rolls on her side to make sure u see she was nearly as long as your vessel, it gets your attention! I'll never forget that look in her eyes.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  11. #11
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Similar story to Cod's. While cleaning deer on Al Cratty's boat on the south end of Kodiak we had 3 killer whales feeding on the parts/pieces as they were thrown over the side. Got it all on video, pretty cool stuff.
    BK

  12. #12
    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    I caught a whale once…….....I even landed it………no really……..I even have a photo of it…………….







  13. #13

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    My riding/fishing/hunting partner is deathly afraid that we are going to get crushed by wales on our Jetskis. Thank you for ensuring he never gets over this fear. Seriously. I find his fear hilarious. It never gets old.

    Andrew, you know who you are....

  14. #14
    Member highestview's Avatar
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    This thread makes me want to go sheep hunting. Far away from the ocean. I'm going to find your fear one day, Jeremiah, and exploit it.
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

  15. #15

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    haha, I can imagine you had to clean your shorts after that one! I've had a few "oh ****" moments myself!

    So, did you ever catch a king? Once in awhile you'll get over feed like that close to town and pull a few kings or cohos. They are usually bigger kings.
    Quote Originally Posted by sodabiscuit12345 View Post
    That other thread "How bad have you seen it" made me want to post this story.

    Not sure if any of you have encountered this before but this was probably the scariest moment in my entire life.

    Last year my brother, my gf, my mom and myself rented a cabin a skiff and fished out of Coffman cove for a week. I had been reading these awesome posts by 270ti about his King fishing exploits out of Craig so my brother and I decided to drive the boat to Craig one day and try it out.

    The weather was awesome, the fishing was pretty good as well, but the most memorable thing for us was the half a dozen feeding frenzies we saw that day.
    Within 5 mins of leaving the dock, we saw about 50+ gulls, just as many puffins, and about 20 bald eagles all diving in the water, chasing herring. The water was boiling with life.

    Now, Im originally from the East coast and seeing feeding birds like that has a pavlovian effect on me. I start drooling and casting directly at the birds no matter what because if this happens to me in Massachusetts, or in Rhode Island, it means there are some crazy fish underneath that will eat ANYTHING. Seriously. I've seen clips of dudes throwing scissors, screwdrivers etc. and ANYTHING works when the stripers or blues go crazy.

    We were too far from that frenzy to try and fish around it so we just kept going to our fishing spot.

    Throughout the day we saw a few more frenzies, but all out of reach.

    On the way back home, we saw another feeding frenzy, bigger than all the others, and it was close enough to reach!!

    So my brother gets in real close, maybe within 40 feet or so and we start casting spoons in there that were the same size as the herring.

    1st drop...... nothing.
    2nd drop...... nothing.
    3 drop......... nothing.
    4th drop.................."What the hell dude. Whats happening? Where are the fish?"
    5th drop...........my brother hooks a puffin!

    yay! Poultry tonight! (thats a joke)

    Anyways, after 10 minutes or so, we managed to hook 1 puffin and a few very small rock fish.

    We could not understand what was happening because in our minds, there had to be some kings or cohos or rockfish that were wrangling all these fish. Why would all of these fish ball up in one spot if nothing is keeping them pinned to the surface????!!!!

    I say to my brother "Get me right on top of the freaking ball of herring"

    As I approach the ball of herring, I can see its THICK! The gulls and eagles are deafening! Its like we're in this crazy space owned by these birds.

    I toss my 3oz shiny spoon into the herring and its so thick, the my lure doesnt even start sinking right away.
    As we watch my lure disappear, we're waiting anxiously for this massive King that we're hoping for.

    Instead?

    A humpback whale comes up within 5 feet of the boat, swallows EVERYTHING in front of us. And Im talking about a whale so close that I saw those weird barnacle type things all over its lips, I saw the scrapes on its face, like a used up leather couch, and those weird looking feather type teeth in its mouth. If I wanted to, I could have smacked it with rod.

    1 second later: "bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" The whale is just peeling line of of my reel!

    My brother starts yelling at me because Im actually stunned with fear for the 1st time in my life.

    "snap your line! DUDE SNAP YOUR LINE! JOE!! SNAP YOUR FREAKING LINE!!!"
    I snap out of it, the gulls and eagles get even louder now. I can hardly hear him.

    My brother gets on the motor, and starts bolting out of there, but as we're leaving, another whale breaches only about 30 feet away from us.
    So my brother and I scream "Oh crap!!!"
    Im thinking that if we're going too fast, maybe a whale is gonna breach right in front of us! So he stops and we're unsure about what to do.

    I start knocking a metal spoon against the boat thinking to myself that this will let the whales know we're here!
    In hindsight, I feel like such an idiot but I really didnt know how to react.

    Anyways, after banging on the boat for 5 minutes, the frenzy slowed down and so did my heart rate.

    With the final gull finally quieted down, my brother looks at me and says: "That whale stared at me man. Its eyeball was as big as my head...He stared directly into my soul!!"

    We both start cracking up at his stupid line and go off to find more rock fish.

    What a thrill.

  16. #16
    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Default Ones that Got Away

    I had a porpoise hit a jig as I was dropping it. Had braided line on the reel. He/she spooled me pretty darn fast.

    Also had a porpoise hit one of the fish-shaped downrigger weights. Broke the downrigger wire.

    fat-fish-500x500.jpg

  17. #17
    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Awesome story. You can see it happening as you read it. Excellent writeup.

    A few years ago out of Homer I was on a halibut charter when we started seeing a few dall porpoise here and there. We all thought it was neat. The captain, not so much. We quickly learned why. We had 3 or 4 of them take bait that day. At one point I had the deckhand flying over my shoulder with a knife to cut line. It took mere seconds for those things to run off 100+ yards of line. Really cool, but pretty freaky at the same time.
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

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