The eye of the lion - sea lion with a channel catfish

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by KnotGillty, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    Sea Lion that is. 500+ pounds of pure fish killing machine. . .

    Launched out of Elkhorn today, trolled the river, & fished behind the Sacramento airport for salmon. I'm really beginning to hate that launch ramp as it SEVERLY angles off on one side which means that my boat doesn't sit correctly on the trailer when I pull it out of the water. Took me 15 minutes, a rope tied to the back cleat, and a buddy on the dock to get it to center right. Enough of my problems.

    Trolled silvertrons and other assorted spinners for zero King Salmon today. We did come across a really odd scene however. Even though we are like 100 miles from the ocean, we spotted a BIG sea lion in the distance that was thrashing the water behind a wing dam. It was really making a commotion. We reeled up the poles and motored over to take a closer look. This damn thing had a big fish and was throwing it through the air and then retrieving it. I hate these things stealing fish from the ocean anglers and so I made the decision to become the predator and TAKE HIS FISH AS REVENGE! ! ! On the first attempt, I sat about 100 feet away and gunned the motor as soon as he flipped the fish through the air. That sea lion is a quick sucker and actually had time to get the fish and dive down before I got to him. We backed off and waited for him to reappear. . . He again surfaced in the distance and we inched closer. He again threw the fish, and it was FULL THROTLE straight at him. Strike two for the KG clan as the pig quickly retrieved his prize & dove back under with his catch. At this point I was a little mad and I told my partner to grab the big net as I wasn't going to miss a third time. I was either going to get the fish, or we'd have an angry sea lion. We took our time, staked him out, & snuck up as he was playing on the surface with his meal. We timed his throw just perfectly. He couldn't retrieve the fish fast enough and we scooped it up with the net as we were flying by at mach speed.

    VICTORY! ! ! !

    And wouldn't you know it, the biggest channel cat I've seen come out of the Sacramento river belonged to a damn sea lion. It probably would have run 12 - 14 pounds if it still had the lower 1/2 of the body. And it was a female that was absolutely FULL of eggs. It's October, what's up with that?

    The trippiest part of the whole ordeal is that the fish was still alive. It was flexing it's gills, moving it's mouth, & trying to get air the entire time we had it in the boat. The little sucker chomped down on my fingers pretty hard when I was holding it by it's mouth. Note to self, don't mess with catfish from hell. It's a pretty bizzare experience when you're looking at & handling a mangled fish and it's still fully alive. All the internal organs were intact & the only thing preventing it from swimming away was sitting comfortably in the belly of the lion. Just because I could, I broke out the filet knife & got a big filet off each side of the fish to take home. Take that you freakin' sea lion! Oh yeah, this channel had 3 really BIG crawdads in it's stomach, pinchers & everything.

    Forgot my digital camera at home, so we had to take a few pics with the cell phone.

    No mammals were hurt in the making of this adventure. Tight lines & enjoy. . .
     

    Attached Files:

  2. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    Oh yeah, we have a BIG salmon net with a 15+ foot extendable handle that we used to get the fish. For those of you wondering, the Sea Lion was never in danger.

    It sure was fun however. . . .
     

  3. chrisblue

    chrisblue New Member

    Messages:
    1,345
    State:
    SC
    :smile2::smile2::smile2: You got to send that one to Jeff Foxworthy.
     
  4. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    well i guess a sea lion has got to eat to,heck id be mad to if you swaped my dinner out of my mouth.:wink:
     
  5. MRR

    MRR New Member

    Messages:
    4,947
    State:
    Louisiana,Mo.
    However did you give it back to the sealion.Might just as well ,it was ruined anyway.Bet he was confused as to what happened to his lunch:roll_eyes:
     
  6. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    No, we didn't give it back to the sea lion. I hope he starves. I got close enough to see the whites of his eyes and I hope he decides to swim back to the ocean instead of tearing up the river.

    For those of you not on the west coast, Sea Lions are a major problem to our fishery. They have become extrememly overpopulated and are causing a negative impact on the fishery. The poor ocean fisherman have thousands of stories of hooking up and then having a sea lion rip your fish in half before you can get the catch into the boat. They are a fairly smart animal and follow the charter boats around because they know it is a free meal. They overcrowd harbours, bays, and anywhere else they can think of.

    Where I was fishing on the river is more than 100 miles from the ocean. These dang things swim up the rivers and then decimate the fish in the river. I guess I view them in the same light as a poacher. No one likes a poacher. In my opinion, the only thing they are good for is shark bait. I'm sure the BIG great white sharks love an overabundance of 500+ pound sea lions.

    Just out of curiosity, why did the title of this thread get changed by management. It was not offensive in any way, shape, or form. PM me if you prefer. Thank you.
     
  7. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    The sea lion is a pocher, and need to be a arested. :smile2:
     
  8. bad apple

    bad apple New Member

    Messages:
    52
    State:
    florida
  9. Barry Nelson

    Barry Nelson New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    Tennessee
    I think the sea lion earned his meal, he makes his living fishing, its not just a past time to him.

    taking it from him was just wrong in my opinion.
     
  10. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    And that is a valid opinion you are entitled to. Thank you for keeping it civil.

    I do not agree however. He was 100+ miles from the ocean. That catfish was older than the sea lion and had his fate decided by a predator that is not normally in his habitat. I've seen sea lions tear apart salmon & sturgeon and just take the belly, leaving the rest of the fish to waste. It's a shame. I know, I know, survival of the fittest. Well, on this day, the sea lion was not the fittest. Don't worry however, that poor little lonely sea lion will not go long without his next meal. He was so fat that I'm surprised he could swim. They actually have a very easy time getting free meals in the river. Otherwise, he would not be in a freshwater river, 100+ miles from his home in the ocean. They are a fish killing machine. Again, overpopulation and regulations to protect them have caused a huge sea lion explosion in Northern California.

    Also, after the sea lion ripped the fish in two, he sat there and played with it for over 15 minutes without even eating it. We watched for a while. He would throw the head of the catfish 20+ feet through the air and then go retrieve it. The sea lion did not eat either portion of the fish as they were both in the vicinity. He was just there killing fish, because well, that's just what he does.

    Besides, it was a CATFISH he was messing with. I had to intervene. It's like baseball, apple pie, and home made cookies. Some things you just don't mess with. If it was a lowely bass or carp, I might have thought twice.:wink:
     
  11. daredevle

    daredevle New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    south carolina
    i aggree with randy on this one a sea lion is like a giant snakehead and kills fish just as bad barry not to offend you in any way i just dont like anything thats kills off fish puoplation dramaicly i understan that lions have to eat too but thtas why they have the ocean for pleanty of fish there
     
  12. Grimpuppy

    Grimpuppy New Member

    Messages:
    3,556
    State:
    Concordia, KS
    There is a reason the sea lion was that far inland. Most likely it is food. Animals do not just expand their range or change territory because they feel like it. Most likely we have changed the sea lions natural habitat in some way that is causing them to seek food elsewhere. Could be commercial fishing has taken their natural food supply or several other possibilities. Chances are though, if the animal is out of its natural territory, we had something to do with it.

    As far as stealing his catch... The sea lion is resourceful. I am sure he didn't have much problem getting another meal. Although, I agree he was entitled to his catch. But you didn't harm, or continue to harass the sea lion, so no harm no foul. That's the way I see it.
     
  13. Swampy

    Swampy New Member

    Messages:
    818
    State:
    Fl.

    I couldn't agree more,just plan wrong!!

    In Fl they would have locked them up for messing with wildlife in such a manner if they were seen or reported.
     
  14. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Hmmm. That quote makes me think of another mammal...

    I don't mean to give you a hard time. I have absolutely no problem with the post or you actions. Just thought that particualr line was ironic. Maybe the sealions are thinking "Those darn humans are way overpopulated and have totally screwed up the salmon runs!"
     
  15. Barry Nelson

    Barry Nelson New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    Tennessee
    Of course I'll keep it civil, its just a disscussion. your point that youve seen them just eat the belly, thats no different then bears in the fall skinning salmon and leaving the rest . they build fat stores like that, its nature and man kind has interfered enough.

    I love to hunt and fish, but I wouldnt deprive a catfish of a meal he caught, no more then I would stop a critter from eating a cat.

    and as far as him being out of his hunting grounds....lol....last I knew. critters where free to roam, its us that have state lines and boundries.

    anyway.

    no hard feelings of course, have a great weekend and hope you catch some big uns

    Barry
     
  16. Scott Daw

    Scott Daw New Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    State:
    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    I dont know... I think if it had fingers he'd be a member of the boc. obviously he's got some good catfishing skills.
     
  17. fshnutz

    fshnutz New Member

    Messages:
    310
    State:
    Sacramento California
    Howdy Randy,
    That's a nice catfish...wish I could catch one that big in the Sac river. I see those dang lions eating striper all the time. do you fish the Sac often? I live right next to the river in the pocket area (near Freeport) and I have been fishing the river for a while. I catch tons of bullheads but I am hard pressed to find any quality channel cats in the Sac river. I usually have to travel down towards the delta more, or go play in the mud in Lisben slough or the bypass. Anyway, cool pics man. Nice to meet another northern cali brother.
    Linz
     
  18. daystarchis

    daystarchis New Member

    Messages:
    11,521
    State:
    Clovis Cali
    Randy.....That varmit lucky I was not there, i shot that thing! Those lions make the delta a shambles. Folks back in the sticks do not understand "West Coast". Thumbs up for the story, pics and taking of the lions food. :wink:

    Linzter.....Need tpo wet a line again with you brother!
     
  19. Diego

    Diego New Member

    Messages:
    63
    State:
    California
    Ah, sweet revenge! Good job, Randy! I wonder how many fish that furbag has stolen from fisherman? Just a little taste of his own medicine :smile2:

    The furbags are a problem. Without some form of population control, they will continue to spread and decimate our fishery. What's sad is that people are so concerned with our marine mammals that they can't wrap their heads around the fact that sealions are no longer even remotely close to endangered, and that their success may in fact HARM the ecosystem.

    Randy, you wouldn't believe how many times now I've heard the same story; a sealion was observed eating a huge catfish. Big catfish seem to be easy prey for them. What takes decades for our delta to produce can simply be erased by just one hungry furbag moving through. And the furbags don't just target catfish; black bass, stripers, sturgeon, salmon, steelhead, etc., all are targeted. This isn't the open ocean. There are no sharks or other predators to control their numbers. For the furbags our delta is like an all you can eat buffet. Sooner or later people are going to start taking matters into their own hands; not because they are selfish, ignorant, environmental terrorists, but because our wildlife "experts" seem to be completely unaware of the issue and won't act. And with all the water exports, it is like we have opened the door for them to move upstream with ease.

    As far as I'm concerned, sealions are an invasive species and should be treated as such.

    And for those of you feeling sorry for the sealion, don't worry...all that furbag needs to do is wait for someone to hook up with a fish to get an easy meal. Imagine that, you hook up with the fish of a lifetime in your favorite lake or river and some monster furbag takes it away from you before you can even think of catch and release. You may be thinking, "Ha! Fat chance there's a sealion cruising around MY favorite lake or river!" Well, how would you feel if tomorrow they were introduced? How would you feel if people thought these invaders should be protected no matter how many trophy fish they exterminated, or how large the population became? Now you may be beginning to understand why we feel the way we do.
     
  20. Malichi1970

    Malichi1970 New Member

    Messages:
    1,334
    State:
    Fenton, Missouri
    We have a similar problem here in the Midwest.....they're called River Otters.