Friend Or Foe?

This is the enemy. He will wait until you hook a fish then grab it and run. Every year, they get bolder, and the stories of fish yanked out of anglers’ hands or nets get more common. Since the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, the population of seals and sea lions has grown in our waters, and they’re getting craftier, too. They watch us fish, and if someone jumps up and starts reeling with excitement, they know we have a fish on and come running. Or swimming, as it were.

So I do everything in my power to avoid fishing near pinnipeds.

Unless the kids are in the boat. Then it’s a different story. We spotted this one on a shipping-lane nav buoy in 750 feet of water while fishing for silvers a couple weeks ago. After 100 or so requests, I caved in and we approached the enemy. Got almost close enough to touch him. Skyla snapped this shot as we went by, and even though we had fish in the box, it was a high point of the day. Amazing how priorities change.

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