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Killer Eagles ???

Last summer I took a one-week paddling trip with some friends to Desolation Sound in British Columbia. I had heard about how great the fishing is in that area. Having recently rigged my wooden Pygmy kayak with a small platform and fishing rod holder just in front of the cockpit, I was very excited to get up there and drop my line into the water.

We camped on Martin Island for a couple of days, which gave me some time to fish. One afternoon I paddled around a point on the island and dropped my line. There are many bald eagles in the area. While I was fishing I enjoyed observing two eagles perched on the shore a quarter mile or so away from me. My encounters with bald eagles have always been non-confrontational. I couldn't believe the sequence of events that followed.

I finally got a bite and reeled in what unfortunately was a very small red snapper. My line became a bit tangled and the fish flopped around on the surface. As I attempted to untangle the line and reach the red snapper, I looked up only to see two giant bald eagles heading directly for me. I only had a few seconds to react.

The rational side of me suspected that the eagles would not attack me. But I wasn't taking any chances. I started yelling and waving my paddle to scare them away. Well ... they didn't attack, but the did proceed to circle about 20 feet above my head for over five minutes. I felt ridiculous ... but I was nervous, so I continued my attempts to frighten them off by yelling while keeping my paddle ready for self-defense. My buddy Bill was about 300 or 400 yards away ... just laughing at me hysterically.

The eagles finally flew back to their perch. Meanwhile the red snapper was still on my line and by the time I was able to unhook the poor fish, it had become a little disoriented. After releasing the fish, it continued to hang on top of the water. When it didn't swim down under the water, I had a suspicion that eagles were still watching. As I looked over at them, one eagle jumped forward and glided effortlessly toward the fish approximately five feet from my boat. As the eagle approached I could see every detail of the awesome wingspan and determined glare in its eyes. It lowered its claws and effortlessly scooped up the fish without making a sound.

While everything ended well, I'll never forget the fear inside me as the two eagles circled above my head. All I can say it that I now keep a watchful eye all around me while fishing from my kayak. The killer eagles may be lurking in the trees!!

Submitted by: Daniel Pitt, Seattle, WA

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