A sportsman’s fight to reel in a 30-pound Chinook salmon off British Columbia ended poorly for both man and fish this week, when a killer whale interceded.
Video of the moment posted Monday on Facebook shows the fisherman trying his best to reel in the fish as the hungry 22-foot-long orca closed in, its black fin piercing the water.
“It’s just a head,” someone in the video says, realizing the salmon had been disembodied. “That’s what’s left of our spring salmon.”
Still, the whale continues to pursue the fish head, deciding only at the last second (within just feet of the boat) that it may not be worth the trouble.
Orcas are considered “one of world’s most powerful predators,” growing up to 32 feet long and weighing up to 6 tons, according to National Geographic.
The orca encounter happened Monday in waters off Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and Blackfish Charters owner Cal Robinson told CTV News Vancouver that he knew they were in for trouble after multiple orcas appeared “about 100 meters from his boat.”
His minute-long Facebook video of the incident has been viewed more than 5,000 times since Monday.
“Before I even started recording (the whale) already had the fish in its mouth. You could just hear the line peeling off the rod,” Robinson told CTV News.
“A brief tug-of-war ensued” when the client from Alberta, Canada, decided not to give up easily and started reeling as fast as he could, reported Global News Canada on Tuesday.
“We knew the killer whale had it in its mouth,” Robinson told Global News. “Soon as that rod leaped off, that killer whale did a 90-degree turn and headed straight for the boat. He was going by us and then that rod just took off and we knew we were in trouble.”
Robinson added that he’d “never seen something skin a fish like that before,” according to Global News.
He told McClatchy newspapers the clients kept their sense of humor about the affair, and even took trophy photos with the sad looking salmon head.
Some were posted on Robinson’s Facebook page with the note: “So we thought we would feed a Killerwhale today.”