Anglers Get Up-Close Encounter With Gray Whale (Video)

Curious calf comes over to investigate

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Kayakers should always keep a safe distance away from whales—especially mothers and calves—but what about when the whale takes an interest in you? Freelance photographer and Kayak Angler contributor Kevin Hofer had an unforgettable encounter with a gray whale calf that visited his fishing party. Did they end up like Ahab? Watch and enjoy this marine meeting.


Up-Close and Personal with a Gray Whale

I was fishing with my dad and a friend I hadn’t seen in 30 years. We were chasing salmon, rockfish and lingcod. The day started out super foggy. Once the fog lifted a bit we set out on our way.

The rockfish bite was steady as soon as we left the protection of the cove. The current pushed us quickly north as we picked up rockfish and an occasional lingcod along the way.

After an epic day, we decided to change tactics and troll for an elusive king salmon on the way back to the launch. That’s when we hear the whales start spouting.

kayak angler gets up-close encounter with gray whale
You never know when an amazing experience is right around the corner—or lurking directly underneath! | Feature image: Kevin Hofer

Pshhhh! A spout comes up from the big momma. Then a smaller spout and the same sound from the youngster. I look and notice the baby whale is turning right toward us!

We didn’t catch any salmon on the way back to the beach, but the up-close encounter with a gray whale made the trip.

Want Your Own Whale Encounter?

Close encounters with whales can give you moments of lifelong inspiration, but kayak whale watching is not without risk to both parties. One flick of a three-meter fluke can capsize a kayaker before you can say, “Blowhole!”

With these hazards in mind, experienced whale watchers and seasoned guides have developed some agreed-upon whale watching guidelines for kayakers. Educate yourself and follow these Guidelines For Kayak Whale Watching before approaching any cetaceans.

You never know when an amazing experience is right around the corner—or lurking directly underneath! | Feature image: Kevin Hofer

 

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