Whether you’re fishing in a small inland lake or in the Atlantic, many anglers are keenly aware of the fact that they’re not the only ones hoping for a delicious dinner. Nothing strikes that point home more than having that fish you’ve been fighting for a half hour suddenly vanish—straight down the gullet of another hungry critter. Here we have arbitrarily compiled 10 of the most audacious, ludicrous, and jaw-dropping fish theft videos ever put on the internet. If you’ve never experienced losing a fish to one of these sneaky critters, feel free to live vicariously.
Not surprisingly, these moments are always marked with a bit of frustration, sometimes a hint of terror, and definitely a boatload of humor. We’re willing to bet that these fishermen all had a hearty laugh afterwards—even if it’s on an empty stomach.
1. The sea lion caper
Fishermen who dip their lines near sea lions know better than to let their guard down around the aquatic mammals. We’re willing to bet this man wished he kept a better grip on his hard-won dorado, but he hardly saw the thief coming.
According to the video, the sea lion is well-known to locals, who have named him Pancho.
2. The high-flying heist
To an angler fly fishing on a calm day, there has to be no greater surprise than a bald eagle showing up to ruin your catch. According to the video, this eagle managed to steal a Dolly Varden trout that happened to be on the line, along with the backing and fly. To be fair, the eagle had attempted several tries earlier and finally managed to make off with a meal.
3. Chompy the Shark
Issac Brumaghim was fishing about two miles off Oahu, Hawaii in his 16-foot kayak when he hooked a nice mackerel, or kawakawa, tuna. As he prepared to reel it in, an opportunistic shark rushed toward and slammed into Brumaghim’s kayak, stealing the tasty morsel in the process.
“The shark made a circle, came around and ate the kawakawa under my boat, hit my kayak and then it kind of hit me what just happened and I had a reaction to that,” Brumaghim told WTKR. The angler is part of a fishing group called the “Aqua Hunters” and was participating in a tournament during the “theft.” He believed the perpetrator was a tiger shark, although he did not get a good look at the animal.
The encounter only took seconds. After devouring the tuna, the shark swam around the kayak once and then departed. While Brumaghim admitted that while the experience frightened him a bit, he said it will not affect his fishing habits. In fact, he stayed on the water and managed to catch two more fish later in the day.
4. Feeding frenzy
There are certain fishing spots where an angler can expect a hooked fish to be stolen by a hungry passerby. Sharks, foxes, and even the occasional eagle may try to take off a fisherman’s hard-earned catch, but piranhas are among the boldest. While most animals steal fish off the line to eat later, these toothy South American terrors have no problem with eating their meal while it is still on the line.
5. The snake charmer
A vast variety of predators would like nothing more than to steal the fish right off your line, but most at least have the good courtesy to leave afterwards. Not so with pythons. They’ll steal your catch and take their time swallowing it in front of you.
6. The shark tug-of-war
While bull sharks usually hunt alone, they can occasionally pair up in shallower waters. These underwater predators are also noted to be very aggressive and one of the shark species most likely to attack humans. Perhaps their territorial nature compelled them to chase the hooked tarpon in the video above, or more likely, they were hungry and noticed a slow fish acting funny.
Whatever the case was, these two sharks saw an easy dinner and were not about to let it get away.
7. The true apex predator
Not content to let sharks have all the fun, this killer whale managed to sneak up on an angler reeling in a halibut. The orca certainly seemed to be in good spirits with a relatively easy meal, but its sudden appearance gave the anglers on the boat quite the shock. The video was reportedly taken in Alaska.
8. If at first you don’t succeed…
Then try, try again.
Mink are determined creatures, and more than one angler has found themselves waylaid by a mink looking for a seafood dinner. While these critters are better known for stealing fish off the line, the brave mink in the video above decided to go straight for the jackpot: the fish bucket. The video was reportedly taken on a Lake Ontario pier near Webster, New York.
9. Come at me, bro
Reaching up to 10 feet long and as much as 800 pounds, the goliath grouper is one fish that demands respect. In some cases, it also demands food. The video above, reportedly recorded off the coast of Jupiter, Florida, shows a grouper confronting a group of spearfishers over their harvest. Impatient with the slowness of their tribute, the grouper in this video shucked one diver of a fin and used the distraction to steal his fish. The grouper also snared the speargun with it, which was eventually found a quarter mile away buried in sand.
10. Suction power
Even whale sharks are notorious fish thieves, but they tend to go after bigger targets.
These massive creatures are the largest fish species still in existence and can devour entire schools of fish daily. This video was taken by Michael Aw in Indonesia. According to the Daily Mail, the crew of the ship attempted to distract the whale shark by tossing bait into the water. The animal was not so easily lured away and continued feasting on the larger source of food.
Ever had your fish stolen by something unexpected? Tell us how your experiences match up to these in the comments below.
Image is a screenshot of video by asoboline on YouTube