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Anyone else have problems with loons?

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  • Anyone else have problems with loons?

    Headed out last night to one of my favorite valley lakes for a night of rainbows. Caught several nice fish in the 15 inch range. However, the experience was marred by a loon that lives there. When he sees you playing a fish he jets over like a torpedo and steals your fish. Sometimes from seemingly improbable distances. He ate most of the fish I caught, a couple right off the end of my line. For a second it was "Loon On!" I don't usually keep the fish I catch, so it makes me feel bad that I'm contributing to these fish getting snacked on. I know the loon gets his fair share anyway, but I don't like helping. Plus it really detracts from the experience to try to horse a fish in really fast when I see the loon coming, trying to set the fish off my line before he can get there. Plus it is a bit disconcerting to have such a large bird swimming around your feet like a shark as you float along. My only consolation is he is going to have a mighty big stomach ache as my stonefly nymph makes its way through. Anyone else have this experience and have any suggestions?

  • #2

    Not trying to make light of your situation, but that would be one great home video !
    I've seen this with eagles & rockfish but never loons.
    Sounds like you are in a one man cat or float tube ? The only thing I could think of is if you can bring your dog with you in a small raft. I know mine would be going crazy trying to get a mouthful of feathers.


    • #3
      Exact Same Problem on a Number of Occassions

      Sorry I can't offer a solution, but maybe misery loves company. The only thing worse than the loon snagging your fish directly off the line is spinning in your float tube to try to find a position where you can release the fish without the darn bird immediately diving and gulping down the disoriented trout. I haven't found a solution other than switching to a different lake.



      • #4
        just bring a few rocks out with you that are big enought to make a big splash, when its sitting on the water give it a few splashes, thats always worked for me


        • #5

          I had thought of the rock idea. I think that will do the trick. But maybe I will get a little footage next time before I deploy the rocks.


          • #6

            I would love to see your footage of this loon in action. If you have time to post it I would make my week!!! Some lakes post signs such as "Loon Alert" at some of the local lakes in mat-su. Those signs are provide a warning to the locals.



            • #7
              Fished a little lake on sun and lost 3 fish and a fly to a aggressive loon. This bad boy was not at all afraid of the boat or even when I smacked my paddle against the water. After the third fish he was not seen again so maybe he got filled up. But he was really testin my patience. KInda fill bad for the fish.
              "I Envy Him And Him Only, That Catches More Fish Than I Do" Izaac Walton 1653
              The question of hunting is not a matter of life or death... it's more important than that


              • #8

                Yes, I have had problems with them. I usually carry some rocks with me to move them away. If I do get a fish in, I keep it in my net and paddle near shore and cover and release it where I can protect it until it gets a chance to hide in the weeds again.


                • #9
                  bring some frozen herring get his attention, bloat him and enjoy the rest of your day.


                  • #10
                    I usually chase the loon around and cast at it, it never really helps but it makes for good target practice
                    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.


                    • #11
                      Loony Loons

                      There is a loon around the Kepler Bradley Lakes that is famous for doing this. I think he can hear the fish struggling underwater. Sometimes it will scare the hell out of me if I don't see him coming and all the sudden he pops up beside me, about as big as goose, staring me down with those crimson blood red eyes.

                      The last time I saw this loon I had my 2 year old cousin in my Loon kayak (co-ink-a-dink) with me and my cousin could not have been more entertained. I horsed in a small grayling real quick when I saw him torpedo'ing in on it then dipped the fish on either side of the boat as we watched the loon dive back and forth under the boat not even 4 ft away from us. I was like a wildlife circus conductor and my little cousin was very impressed. He still likes to talk about it.

                      Now, if I am fishing by myself... I lure the bird in and then try like hell to wack him a good one on the tail. Or, I just stop fishing for awhile and take pictures.

                      I like the bird, he's bold and has a lot of character. I hope no one yanks his esophogus out for being a pest.


                      • #12
                        I once saw a loon on fire lake eat a 2 foot long pike, it was NUTS
                        I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.


                        • #13
                          ...a 2 foot long pike...
                          Since you're a "fisherman", does this mean the "actual" measurement would be around 8-10" long?
                          Winter is Coming...

                          Go GeocacheAlaska!


                          • #14
                            There was an aggressive loon like that this summer in Sand Lake. Boy they are fast underwater!!! Sure made the fishing a bit more difficult.
                            Ryan Tollefsen
                            Prudential Jack White Vista Real Estate

                            Alaska Real Estate
                            Anchorage Real Estate


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JOAT View Post
                              Since you're a "fisherman", does this mean the "actual" measurement would be around 8-10" long?
                              no it was seriously longer than the loon, totally nuts...
                              I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.


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