While madly snagging sockeye salmon in a remote cove on Afognak Island, we got a little more excitement than we had expected. We were busy casting our treble hooks into boiling schools of salmon, when our fishing buddy Mary shouted that she had one on the line. Then the salmon suddenly took off for the ocean, the drag screaming.
Whatever was on the end of the line made a long run and we had to pull the anchor. The chase was on! Guide Luke Randall suggested that a huge halibut had taken the salmon. Halibut are extremely aggressive predators and will often follow schools of salmon up into the shallows. Luke told us about one halibut in particular that had become famous locally, hanging around one spot. He was so big (estimated to be well over 400 pounds) that no one wanted to catch him, choosing instead to just enjoy seeing such a rare and huge fish.
Quickly enough, our hopes of a giant halibut were dashed, and the culprit showed its face. It was a harbor seal that had grabbed the struggling fish. It was us who had the last laugh, though, as the seal did eventually let go of the fish. Although a little mangled, there was still plenty of delicious red meat that would sit well in our bellies.