On Water All Things Paddle

Killer whale steals halibut from angler’s hook

Rare close encounter videotaped off Alaska; orca may have been lured to boat with the hooked fish

Alaska is famous for its halibut fishing, and for its killer whale sightings. But rarely are halibut and killer whales videotaped simultaneously, and very few people, if any, have captured such vivid footage of a killer whale, or orca, attacking a halibut at the end of an angler’s line. (Viewers should note that there is brief profanity at the beginning of this clip.)

However, researchers have heard of orcas stealing hooked fish in Alaska.

The Alaska Life posted the “Catching ‘Big Fish’ in Alaska” clip, via Laurie Jones, to its Facebook page on Saturday. As of early Monday afternoon it had been “liked” by nearly 4,000 people and shared more than 17,000 times.

There were no details about where in Alaska this was videotaped, or whether the fishermen, who seemed to be aware of the orca’s presence, were purposely trying to entice the orca with the hooked fish, as fishermen sometimes do with sharks.

Whatever the case, the encounter was extremely close and admired by many, and the halibut was doomed from the moment it was hooked.

As for the “Here’s my ring” comment in the footage, we have no clue what that’s about.

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