LARGE inshore predator

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Milt Roe, May 15, 2013.

  1. I hesitate to post this, but I'm going to anyway. Last Saturday at right around dusk I was sitting on my bulkhead in MA 13 watching the fry foraging around my floating dock. There were thousands of them actively feeding, the school was very large running from 5 ft from shore out to probably 20 ft from shore. I've never seen that many in one large school like that. I am confident that they were chum fry, and I made a point of walking out on the dock earlier in the day to verify it because I'd never seen that many in such a large school like that. I didn't catch any to key out, but as a biologist I was satisfied with my casual identification as chum. There were a few larger fish working around them and keeping them together in a large school. As I sat there in the twilight all of a sudden there was a very large wake on the surface of the water running toward the shore. The water parted like it does with the bow of a boat but I couldn't see what caused it, just the wake and what appeared to be a lunge forward by something to scoop up some of the chum fry. Then it dissappeared. I figured it must have been a very large sea lion, but it was in really close to shore and there was no sea lion surfacing to breathe like you normally see and hear when they are around. So I sat there wondering what it was for 10 minutes or so. Then it happened again. This time I could see a shadow of the front of something very large just above the surface of the water, but it was getting dark and I couldn't make a positive ID. The wake was large enough this time that it rocked my dock back and forth like a medium size boat wake does. Definitely had a very large body to make that kind of wake. After another 15 minutes it was getting very dark and I stood up to head inside. Then it happened again, but I couldn't see anything - just the sound of the water and then the waves hitting the dock. No sign of seals or sea lions around, too big for anything but the largest sea lion anyway. It was dead quiet, and I am sure would have heard any seals around surface to breathe. So all I can figure is that it must have been a large 6 gill shark, which are found in the area fairly frequently from May through July when they breed in the s sound. Further internet investigation has me convinced that this is what it must have been, but I have no pictures and no proof of it. There was a 14 ft long 6 gill found on the beach less than a mile away a couple years ago, so it isn't out of the question.
  2. I thought they were a deep water fish, and wouldnt he have to be gorging himself on those little fry to make up for the energy expended?
  3. Although they hang out near the bottom, 6-gills are known to come up to the surface at night.

    Milt, I suppose that your guess is as good as any. I do know that sea lions will go after schools of baitfish, though. This might remain a mystery. Perhaps it was a baitfish poacher in a mini-sub!
  4. Really cool. I would have loved to be there.
  5. You'll probably never know for sure...but it must have been exciting, and a really great story to pass on.
  6. Same thing happening here (also area 13), but I've seen them come up from air - seals /sea lions, working as teams. What may appear to be one huge creature maybe really be a couple close together.
  7. If only we had a pack of wolves to keep that thing in check
  8. ...I have used the Roger Stephens saltwater translater app to understand Milt's note better

    South Sound Inshore Monster Predator Action Heating Up!

    Milt that does sound cool. Surveillance cam? Makes me hesitate a little to get bolder on the Kayak...Wouldn't a six gill have betrayed a dorsal or tail fin on the front of the wake you saw?
  9. LOL! Lately I have been trying to come up with better post titles but you keep using my old "style" like the one above. Tomorrow I am taking two people fishing that are new to sea-run cutthroat fisheries. I already have a report title in mind that you will like;).

  10. Not saying it wasn't a six gill but interested in your reasons to rule out harbour porpoise, river otter, a stray halibut or lingcod or even a really big king salmon.

    Both harbor porpoise and sixgill don't seem to have much of a dorsal to betray them at the surface..
  11. Way bigger than otter or porpoise. I have otters every day crapping on my dock, seen plenty of those. Porpoise are faster and smaller. Dissapeared for more that 10 minutes with no sign, then was just there again. Just sayin. Not typical for a mammal. Been watching the water for my whole 50+ years. Never seen anything like it, and if it was anything else it was not behaving like I have seen many times before with a big bull sea lion. Nothing else is that big. No way to prove it one way or another. Just thought I would share what I saw. Probably should have just kept it to myself.
  12. Could it of been a Sturgeon? My son witnessed a similar event last week in north puget sound. It finally breeched and they saw its head. The fish was not as large as you described though.

  13. Don't say that.....I'm glad you posted this, it's fun and we need more mysteries in our world. I think it's COOL!!!!
  14. jaguar shark

    points to who gets that reference.
    Irafly and Evan Burck like this.
  15. Mark's right Milt, everyone's just speculating as they're bummed they didn't see it also.

    "Life Aquatic of Steve Zissou" had a plot revolving- sort of- around a jaguar shark. Maybe that's the Ref you're looking for. I found the soundtrack was more fun- and less precious- than the movie.

    From Wikipia:

    "Esteban du Plantier is eaten by a creature [Steve] Zissou describes as a "Jaguar shark." For his next project, Zissou is determined to document the shark's destruction."
    Kcahill likes this.
  16. Great story, thanks for sharing, I kept humming the Jaws theme in the back of my head while reading!

  17. During the 2009 pink season in Puget Sound, I saw two six gill sharks near the south end of Vashon Island. They were huge, probably 12+ feet long. They surprised the heck out of me, but it was a fantastic experience, both times. After I saw the first one, I called the Seattle Aquarium and spoke with a fellow who has been studying these sharks in Puget Sound. He confirmed the ID, and said that although rare, they do come into shallow water to feed if food is available. The two I saw were in 10 to 12 feet of water. One followed a hooked pink towards my boat but broke off the chase when it got close to the boat. If you saw nothing or heard nothing after the slashing of the chum fry, I agree, it wasn't a mammal. Their breathing, especially porpoise, can be heard for hundreds of yards.
    What ever it was, what an experience!


  18. I bet the action was at Purdy. I read on the internet the fishing was good there.
  19. Sharks: kinda like ambulance-chasing lawyers, only the sharks smell better! When we were surfing Drake's Beach in Marin Co. down in CA, we always had one guy with big binoculars and one of those air horn things, to watch for "shadows" beyond the surf line. Lots of whites in that area. Some years ago in the Salt Creek area, a white hit an abalone diver. Took his head off. They found the corpse, but never found his head.
  20. We all know it was a saltwater Lockness Monster.

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