Fishing

Bald eagle takes the bait, swipes salmon from fishing boat

A man fishing in British Columbia Friday managed to capture a slow-motion video of an eagle swooping down and taking the bait he was about to use to catch fish.

Ashton Phillips was trying to take a picture of the bald eagle circling his boat, but instead of getting a great picture, he watched as it took away with salmon. “I saw this one eagle kind of circling and it was along the shoreline, so I took out my camera to snap a picture of it,” said Phillips. “All of a sudden out of nowhere, it started heading toward the boat,” he told CTV News.

Phillips had been cutting salmon strips to bait halibut with when the bird started circling. He had left pieces on the boat’s motor in order to take out his camera.

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“I didn’t even realize it was coming for the big chunk of salmon until obviously it snagged it and flew off,” he said. “It was a pretty surreal experience.”

After watching the video, Phillips posted it to Facebook
and it went viral. It was watched over 1.1 million times and shared 26,000 times, being described as “beautiful” and “epic."

Phillips was surprised at the reactions and attention the video received. “Everybody’s been very, very positive about it,” he said. “I thought maybe people would start saying, ‘well, you guys baited it, you’re feeding the wildlife,’ but we didn’t. And it hasn’t gone down the negative road, so it’s nice to see people just really enjoyed the video.”

Phillips is a co-owner of Crab Park Chowdery in Vancouver.

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