Gone Fishing with the Big Bears of Kodiak…

"Now where did I leave that fish?" A big Kodiak Bear looks for salmon on the Frazer River of Kodiak Island.

“Now where did I leave that fish?” A big Kodiak Bear looks for salmon on the Frazer River of Kodiak Island.

Kodiak Bear fishing in the Frazer River on Kodiak Island, Alaska

“Are you down there?” The submarine approach to finding fish.

Peggy and I are off in Alaska as you read this blog. Since I won’t have time for blogging or reading blogs, I decided to repost a few blogs from the trip we made to Alaska three years ago. If you have been following me for a while, you will have read these blogs previously. I will try to respond to comments. –Curt

I hadn’t been fishing for 40 years. That changed this last week. I’ve now been out fishing for salmon three times and halibut twice. Kodiak Island will do that to you. Ask the bears.

Pink Salmon catch on Kodiak Island.

Peggy and I hold up a string of Salmon that we caught along with our son Tony and his wife Cammie. Peggy caught the majority, as she is quick to tell everyone. (grin) (Photo by Cammie Lumpkin.)

On our trip out to the Frazer River on the south part of Kodiak last week, we watched the large Kodiak Bears land fish after fish. It was all about eating sushi. Catch a live salmon and down it on the spot. Move on and catch another one. Sushi can’t get any fresher. And these are large fish. No wonder the big bears reach the size they do.

Another thing we quickly noted was that the bears used different fishing techniques. Some behaved like submarines. Walking through the river with their heads under water, they would catch their fish like a diving duck. Other bears chose to chase their fish down, charging across the river on the tail of a desperate salmon and then pouncing.

Kodiak bear chasing salmon in the Frazer River.

A Kodiak Bear discovers a salmon and takes off in pursuit.

Kodiak chasing fish on Frazer River.

Across the river he goes. “You can run, Mr. Salmon…”

Kodiak Bear pounces on Salmon in Frazer River.


Kodiak Bear with salmon dinner on the Frazer River.

And catches dinner.

Kodiak Bear and salmon in Frazer River.

She wanders off…

Kodiak Bear eat salmon.

And settles down to eat.

I'll conclude with this photo of a solitary bear fishing the Frazer River.

I’ll conclude with this photo of a solitary bear fishing the Frazer Ri

32 thoughts on “Gone Fishing with the Big Bears of Kodiak…

  1. I wonder why bears fish differently – if it’s temperament, or different conditions, or just impulse. Clearly, your technique worked! Now I have my own impulse toward salmon for dinner. I’m not much of a fish eater, but salmon’s good, and I’ll be that really fresh salmon was wonderful!

    The “action” shots are great, but I do love that last photo.

    • Part of the bears fishing habits depend on the status of the bear. The biggest bears get the best fishing spots. I once watched a large Brown fishing in Katmai. He was in the center of a pool and rarely had to move. He would submarine, come up with a large Salmon, and then eat it like we would eat corn on the cob if we also ate the cob. Then he would drop down and catch another one. No wonder he was a giant. When a smaller Brown Bear decided to join him, the big guy emerged from his hole and chased him through our camp site. I was somewhat amazed to see hoe fast the bears could move. –Curt

  2. Thrilled for you. Salmon and photographing those magnificent bears. You and Peggy are having too much fun on this trip!

  3. Not sure how close you were to the bear for these great shots, but it makes me nervous. Better you than I, however. I’m not cut out for National Geographic work, but you’ve got a portfolio to show them!

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