Epic Salmon Bite

Columbia River

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Steve's Guided Adventures

by Steve Leonard

Last night I had something happen that I hope never happens again to my little man. We were on our second trip for the day and was we were able to get into a epic salmon bite. Tommy Thibault from Boise Idaho landed the biggest fish of the year weighing in at 28.3 pounds. Our next fish was attacked by a sea lion as our clients Rick and Stephanie Rudberg were limited out and it was Corbins turn to have some fun. It soon wasn’t fun no more. As soon as the aggressive lion took the fish by the tail

I quickly took over on the rod giving it all I had. The lion surfaced with the fish by the base of the tail. With past experience I knew I had a chance to get it away from him due to he needs to breathe and let go. Twice he let go and we almost had it in the net both times. After the 3rd time of the lion grabbing the fish by the tail as it ran from the boat and lion screaming line off reel it let go. It was a chaotic moment with screaming and yelling. The lion let go and I battled the fish to the net as Tommy was able to get it and flip into the boat. After all the excitement and high fives I heard a cry I never want to hear again. When the fish ran from the boat the last time Corbin took a 16oz lead to the side of his head and it laid him out in the floor of the boat. After a quick assessment and blood coming from his head I knew it was bad but not life threatening or needed medical attention. I held him a let him cry and scream out the pain which any parent should do. I quickly held a towel with pressure to the cut and calmed him down. 15 minutes later as we were being chased by a pissed off sea lion Corbin got off the floor and into his seat. He is ok and he earned his “Fat Boy ice cream sandwich”. By the time we made it to the dock he was calmed down, pain had resided and he told everybody he seen on the dock. He was back to being” my toughest deck hand ever!!” and helped me finish up the night cleaning fish and the boat. I wanted to share. A memory I never want to happen again and one we will never forget. We have it all on video which I will share once I get it. We never knew it was the lead until he told us and we watched the video.

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