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Thread: Weird things.. that happen on the water.

  1. #1

    Default Weird things.. that happen on the water.

    Anybody have any truly "weird" things happen to them on the water?

    I've got one..

    This year on a very windy day, I anchored up with my clients in some inside waters, to escape the 9ft swell we were escaping on outside waters. We had already secured 30 cohos for their coho limit, and now it was time to scrape up a limit of halibut, without getting everyone sick..

    We tossed out anchor, and pulled out the lunches. About 30 minutes into our soak, and two solid keepers later, we were lounging on the back deck, telling stories, waiting for the next batch of halibut to show up. Tunes were cranked, and we were having a good time.

    Wham!! Something shook the entire boat, and a loud slam originated from the front of the boat. I looked up front and realized that one of the rods had been pulled overboard! The rod holder was bent completely over, and it was very very hard to bend that rod holder! Dang it! I couldn't believe it.. I've caught some big halibut, but I've never had that happen before! Sealion, shark?

    Scratching my head, I went to grab another rod to get my client down fishing.. One of the rods in the back of the boat bent completely over, almost touching the water.. Client got on the reel and started cranking.. and cranking.

    20 minutes later, he finally got the fish to budge off the bottom.. Line was going straight down.

    15 minutes after that we come up to a big tangle.. at the bottom of the tangle my missing rod was dangling.. no way! A stroke of luck.. my front rod tangled in my back rod. I was stoked to get my rod back, but was more curious how big the fish was that could pull the rod over!

    After 20 minutes of careful untangeling, cutting, and tying lines, I had the original rod/angler slowing lifting the very heavy fish towards the surface. Line pointed straight down. Needless to say, the boat was excited! I've had some big sea lions eat my halibut before (as big as 100lb halibut), but they always run straight out!

    Then as suddenly as quickly as the rod was pulled overboard, the line gets much lighter. Heartbreak.. The angler reeled up his gear. I feared that the 200# leader had broke, which I felt sick about.

    As he gets his gear to the top, a 30lb halibut was on his hook. What?!!

    Upon inspecting the halibut, a huge bite mark was obvious on the tail side of the fish, extending up to about 1/3 of the halibut. Crazy.. it was a HUGE mouth, that grabbed onto that 30lb halibut, that must have been biting the hook right when something grabbed onto him. Clear "mouth" mark on the halibut, but no teeth punctured the flesh of the halibut.

    We finished out our limit, but everyone had that giant "something" on our minds, that almost took one of my good seeker rods...

    It was weird, I'll tell you that!

  2. #2

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    I love these stories. what do you think it was?
    Random guy in Fly shop: "Where did this happen???? In real life or in Alaska?"

  3. #3

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    I really can't say for sure. A very large halibut is all I can think of, that would have left that mouth mark, be that heavy, come straight up, and not have big teeth.

  4. #4
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    I caught a sea monster one year trolling for kings. My dad and I were trolling a small cove that holds fish year round. The water depth varies between 40 and 80 ft. As we trolled along my rod went nuts. I grabbed it and knew it was big. The fish was tearing away from me and I swear smoke was about to pour off the reel. I was still trying to figure out what I might have on and the line start to head to the surface. My first thought was “Well that rules out halibut.” About then maybe 100 yds behind the boat I see a fish cut across the surface and a dorsal fin about a foot tall.

    “What was that?”

    I gain a few feet of line and the beast took another scream away from me. This time it porpoised about 150 yards out and all I could see was that it was roughly 3 ft across the back.

    “Holy $@#*!, What do I have?”

    Finally I started gaining on the thing and as I got closer it went deep. As we pulled it out of the depths I caught sight of a 200 lb halibut. About the time I said “It’s a halibut!” the thing did a tail dance across the water behind the boat like a manic sailfish. I never thought I’d see a halibut jump, let alone a 200 lb halibut jump. Turns out the “dorsal fin” was the white side of its tail.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

  5. #5

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    My guess is that your sea monster was a large sleeper shark. they don't really have large teeth like a salmon shark and can get Very Very BIG! They don't swim very fast or fight hard at all for that matter, but are just big gigantic slow moving creatures. My guess is that he came into your scent trail and latched onto that Halibut once it got hooked and couldn't get away. It always could be something different though, when you spend enough time out on the water unexplained/weird things are sure to happen.

  6. #6
    Member Soundfisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBoater View Post
    I caught a sea monster one year trolling for kings. My dad and I were trolling a small cove that holds fish year round. The water depth varies between 40 and 80 ft. As we trolled along my rod went nuts. I grabbed it and knew it was big. The fish was tearing away from me and I swear smoke was about to pour off the reel. I was still trying to figure out what I might have on and the line start to head to the surface. My first thought was “Well that rules out halibut.” About then maybe 100 yds behind the boat I see a fish cut across the surface and a dorsal fin about a foot tall.

    “What was that?”

    I gain a few feet of line and the beast took another scream away from me. This time it porpoised about 150 yards out and all I could see was that it was roughly 3 ft across the back.

    “Holy $@#*!, What do I have?”

    Finally I started gaining on the thing and as I got closer it went deep. As we pulled it out of the depths I caught sight of a 200 lb halibut. About the time I said “It’s a halibut!” the thing did a tail dance across the water behind the boat like a manic sailfish. I never thought I’d see a halibut jump, let alone a 200 lb halibut jump. Turns out the “dorsal fin” was the white side of its tail.
    I know just how you felt. I had this exact thing happen to me in Ester Passage. It was a 150# halibut. I thought I had a shark at first, especially after it surfaced 150 yards away in the chop. It went surface to bottom several times. Great fight though.

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    Pacific Sleeper Shark??

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    We were in day harbor once. At anchor. My dad and another guy were at shore looking for a bear. I was on board with another guy. The guy went and took a nap and put a rod out for me to keep me busy. I wasnt very old. Maybe 12-14? I watched that rod for along time probably an hour or more. Then all of a sudden it doubles over and the reel was just screaming! I couldnt get the rod out of the holder and I start hollering for that guy to get up, I remember he kind of sits up a little then his eyes pop out of his head once he sees the rod! As soon as he touches it the line goes limp. the rod was one of those heavy duty halibut rods and the line was that white line all the people used back then Line broke. we were pretty close to shore. Not sure of the depth.

  9. #9

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    I was trolling for silvers out in the vicinity of Whidbey/Johnstone Bays (east of Resurrection Bay) quite a few years ago with some friends of mine. I had two rods hooked into my downriggers and then just for fun a 5 or 6 ft. ultralight spinning rod with about 8 lb. test line dragging a banana sinker and troll herring.

    As we were trolling along all of a sudden one of my friends pointed out off to the side of the boat and exclaimed, "Is that a shark!?!?" Sure enough there about 100 ft. abeam to us was the stereotypical shark dorsal fin cruising along in the opposite direction we were trolling. We watched in amazement for about 20 - 30 seconds or so and could see the dorsal fin cruising along slowly with the upper tail fin breaking the surface occasionally, too, and from what we could see it looked as though it was around 5 ft. from the tip of the dorsal fin to the tip of the upper tail fin. Then it slowly disappeared under the surface of the water and a few seconds later the unltralight rod doubled over in the rod holder and line started ripping off the reel.

    We quickly forgot about the shark as one of my friends grabbed the rod to fight the fish and then a few seconds later there was a quick surge that actually broke the rod in half and then the fish just seemed to stop dead. We knew the fish was still on because there was still pressure on the line, so my friend grabbed the upper section of the rod and held the butt end together with the bottom section and started awkwardly reeling line in slowly as the fish started moving slowly in a diagonal path away from the boat, but in the same direction the boat was pointed.

    A few seconds later the shark's fin appeared on the surface again with the line going out directly to a spot a little way in front of the shark's fin and moved along with it at the very same speed. My friend kept reeling when he could and while we were excitedly talking about what we'd do if we actually got the shark up to the boat, but after what seemed like half an hour (probably in reality about 20 or 30 seconds) the line broke, the shark disappeared and that was the end of it.

    We never really got a good close look at exactly what was going on, but in retrospect I think what happened is that the shark was cruising along and just happened to be there when we hooked into a silver on that line. When that happened I'm guessing the shark saw the silver in distress, swam over quickly and grabbed it and then started swimming away with the silver in its mouth. I just can't envision a shark grabbing the herring without just cutting the 8 lb. test line as soon as it grabbed the bait. All I know is it was incredibly amazing and sure gave me and my friends from the lower-48 a REAL taste of fishing in Alaska. What kills me is I have (or HAD) the whole thing recorded on video tape, but in the years since it happened I either inadvertently recorded over it with one of my underwater videos or the tape has become lost in all my junk because I can't seem to find it now. I'll never forget that, though.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by LGraham View Post
    My guess is that your sea monster was a large sleeper shark. they don't really have large teeth like a salmon shark and can get Very Very BIG! They don't swim very fast or fight hard at all for that matter, but are just big gigantic slow moving creatures. My guess is that he came into your scent trail and latched onto that Halibut once it got hooked and couldn't get away. It always could be something different though, when you spend enough time out on the water unexplained/weird things are sure to happen.
    Never thought of those.. wow, wouldn't that have been something to see that come up under the boat.

  11. #11

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    Yea, catch them sometimes while fishing for Halibut in Kachemak Bay. Most of the time they get off and break the line before you really know what happening. After catching a few though you can usually tell when one gets on, very slow steady line pull and heavy weight are good indicators. I've also lost more than one large chum bag to 'em so I know they got big mouths too.

  12. #12
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    OK, here goes,First I'll use a quote from a friend "What's the difference between a fairy tale and a sea story" A fairy tale starts out "once upon a time " and a sea story "This ain't no sh*t "

    I was anchored with 3 friends fishing Halibut off Anchor Point. I had a 20 ounce sinker as the tide was running. I was bouncing my lead off the bottom whem my rod buried. Holy moly have I got a big one on. I pumped and reeled for maybe 15 or 20 seconds and the line went limp. Oh man, must of had the line break. So, I reeled up and guess what? the snap holding the weight is open and straightened out. Lead missing hook still had bait.

    Other time same crew we had caught our limit of Halibut and came into Whiskey Gulch to troll for Kings. Everyone but me were using banana weights. I was on a downrigger. After maybe an hour of no strikes I asked my friend (his boat this time ) what's the depth 27' he says. So I reel up put a new Herring on and decide half way should be good. I let it down to 13', cranked up the slack and set the rod in the holder. I go forward to pour a cup of coffee and friend yells Rollie your rod. I grab the rod and holler you better chase it. I was told that it took 65 minutes to bring a 6 foot long Halibut along side the boat. The reason, it was tail hooked. So, about a 200 pound Halibut cruising the shore and slapped at my bait. Whew, i was whipped after that fight.

  13. #13
    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    Not so much weird as is was a downright scary and adrenaline pumping event.


    In summer 2011 I made two trips up there, the first to Juneau and over to Excursion Inlet for a week of halibut fishing and the second trip was to Prince of Wales Island.


    On the third day of fishing just west of Point Adolphus we had our limits and went back towards the lodge.


    About halfway back we hit the main channel of open water and I decided to attempt tweaking one or two more knots out of the boat. We were on an 18 foot Stabi-Craft and top speed was around 32. So there I sat at full throttle and was messing with the trim up and down until I noticed a decrease or increase in speed. Finally I got 33 out of it and just kept staring straight ahead while sitting fairly close in to the console which is on the starboard side to get out of the wind.


    I noticed right straight ahead of us in the water a small grayish triangular bump rising up about 80 yards away and it was in our line of travel and growing by the second. Within what seemed like 5 or 10 seconds but was most likely only one or two this small gray hump had GROWN dramatically to 8 feet wide and 5 feet tall and GROWING. I think I had time for one short smelly expletive and pulled the wheel hard to port all the way. You all know what happens when you do that at 33 mph. Loose objects in the boat tend to shift around. My partner instantly became a 190 # bowling pin that went flying from his seat. I ducked hard left and held the wheel with one hand while expecting something awful to happen in those milliseconds that kept ticking off.


    And then the monster Humpback Whale finished its dive and up came the tail flukes. My partner was flat on his back legs in the air sliding on the deck with saucer eyes. His thoughts must have been that I was trying to kill him or both of us by flipping the boat at high speed. And as time crawled by in Slo-Mo the giant tail fluke rose higher and higher as the bow of the Stabi-Craft passed underneath the right fluke.


    Right then I knew the boat was in for a tail whuppin (literally!). The 4 rods were stowed up front vertically in the rod holders just forward of the console and the console had a 3 foot smoked plexiglass windscreen on top of it. “Oh boy! our deck is about to be swept clear!” - was the thought racing through my mind as we went under the whale tail.


    Incredibly, we had a complete miss and the seawater from the whale tail only gave us a micro shower as it passed over head.


    Cody got back into his seat just speechless. I had slowed the boat to a near stop, made sure he and I were both okay and not in need of new diapers, stowed the coolers and bait bucket and continued our journey to the lodge with a whale of a tale to tell.


    After sharing the story back at the lodge, we were told of the same thing had happened the year before with a different result. The lodge staff were launching the boats preseason to prep them and the head mechanic had the same type of run in with a Humpback as we did only he did not have time to react and turn to avoid the collision. WHAM! airborne and the guy lands up near the anchor on his back. He managed to crawl back to the console and limp back to the lodge with a bunch of major bruises and injuries. We lucked out with a light whale shower and scary story to tell. I wish I had turned on the GoPro during our return trip. It would have been some amazing footage.

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    270 - Like LGraham and AKCAPT - I am also guessing you had a visit from a "sleeper shark". I have heard them referred to as "Six Gill" or "Seven Gill" shark. Normally they are pulled up on long-line gear out of a hundreds of fathoms, but they also have been caught in very shallow water. The ones I have hooked on blackcod long-line gear were huge fish - I would estimate a few were over 15 feet long. I had a good view of their mouths beside the boat, and as I recall their tooth structure looked more like a skate's mouth than a salmon or blue shark's. There was a market for their livers in the 1940s. They are a very interesting species with a lot of adaptations for living at extreme depths.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JKD View Post
    I have heard them referred to as "Six Gill" or "Seven Gill" shark. .
    Sixgill, sevengill and pacific sleeper sharks are 3 different fish. Six and seven gills are very primitive, in the family of sharks known as cow sharks.
    Sleeper sharks are in the dogfish family.
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    Thanks for the clarification, Dave. I know that you know your stuff when it comes to fish biology. ;-)

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    Couple things to comment on;

    First, sleeper sharks have strange mouth arrangements. They would leave an odd wound, I've heard like a spiral.
    As for all the people who've had halibut suddenly taken by something....I had a dall porpoise hit my line several years ago - line started screaming for the horizon...I knew it wasn't a salmon shark because we had caught one earlier on the same trip. There was no stopping this thing, ran like crazy and then after it got off...up came a 30LB halibut - no teeth marks or anything on it.

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    I enjoy looking at artistic renditions of sea creatures from sailors over the past several centuries and then there is the lake Illiama monster rumored to be a sleeper shark. Truth is there is a lot out there that we just know nothing about. Primarily in the sea's, we've barely even scratched the surface as far as our knowledge pool goes. But it keeps things really interesting. If I could come up with the money I would mount an expedition to lake Illiama. Just wouldn't get into the water with a sleeper shark more than any other species this one freaks me out.

  19. #19

    Default Weird stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by Minnow View Post
    I enjoy looking at artistic renditions of sea creatures from sailors over the past several centuries and then there is the lake Illiama monster rumored to be a sleeper shark. Truth is there is a lot out there that we just know nothing about. Primarily in the sea's, we've barely even scratched the surface as far as our knowledge pool goes. But it keeps things really interesting. If I could come up with the money I would mount an expedition to lake Illiama. Just wouldn't get into the water with a sleeper shark more than any other species this one freaks me out.
    Yes, Minnow! Sleeper sharks are super freaky. Couple years ago I was talking to a shark biologist and reading about them. The big ones grow 25 feet and they make high speed runs from the depths to the surface to scout for seals, ascending maybe a 1000 vertical feet, checking out the surface water then heading back down...

    The GEERG website is a good resource on this: http://www.geerg.ca/gshark_1.html

  20. #20
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Really cool link, that's fascinating .
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