Posted 2/17/2008 10:10 AM (#301584) Subject: ESOX & Eagles
Location: Mauston, Wisconsin
While sitting in the local ER I happened to pick up the December 2007 issue of Wiscomsin Natural Resources and an article on Eagles caught my attention (Bald and beautiful by Natasha Kassulke), as I always love to see eagles while I'm fishing. Then a photo caught my attention. The photo is of item's recovered from eagle nests. I was surprised at the number of ESOX jaws and skull's. Maybe it's very bad luck for ole ESOX to be out there finning on the surface! Looks like we could classify ESOX as preferred food source for eagles. Certainly a natural predator of larger fish.
Posted 2/17/2008 10:43 PM (#301736 - in reply to #301656) Subject: RE: ESOX & Eagles
Location: Iowa Great Lakes
My buddy had an Eagle in WI dive on his Magic Maker a few years ago. Lucky it broke off the dive.
Posted 2/18/2008 9:08 AM (#301773 - in reply to #301584) Subject: Re: Esox & Eagles
this summer i had a pair of eagles fly over and one dropped a 30+" pike that was too heavy for it to keep a grip on. that thing hit the water within 50 yards of us and it sounded like a bomb going off. those talons had torn it up pretty good.
eagles are notorious scavengers, i'm sure that most of the esox they eat are ones they find dead.
Posted 2/21/2008 2:21 AM (#302723 - in reply to #301773) Subject: Re: Esox & Eagles
Location: Eagle River, Alaska
Don't anyone get their feathers ruffled over this but it brings to mind the proliferation of Osprey (same family as bald eagles but almost exclusive fish eaters) on the upper Missouri River where I used to live near Great Falls, MT. When I first moved there I can't remember seeing an osprey the first two years. The next year you started seeing them everywhere and the numbers have just continued to increase on the river. Interestingly, in the year between no osprey and them "arriving" the fishing limits changed dramatically on the upper Missouri. Dropped was a five fish limit with one over 18"....it was changed to 1 trout over 18" and catch and release strongly encouraged. There were several occasions while fishing backwaters quietly by myself where and osprey would smack the water, sometimes very close, to me, generally scaring the heck out me, and come away with a nice 14 to 16 inch trout. Some of these osprey became very clever and would sit high up in the trees below fly fishermen practicing catch and release. If one of those just released fish didn't recover immediately it was jumped upon immediately. This make C and R fishermen a big pat on the back for helping the recover of ospreys.
Posted 2/21/2008 9:14 PM (#302932 - in reply to #301584) Subject: RE: ESOX & Eagles
Location: oswego, il
Seeing the lures in the nest brings the obvious observation that those pike or muskies had lures in their mouths. I have seen muskies try to shake lures before at the surface which is a likely scenario here making an easy target for an eagle.
Posted 2/22/2008 11:13 AM (#303061 - in reply to #303015) Subject: RE: ESOX & Eagles
I've had two eagle encounters worth recalling. The first was on the Manitowish chain back in about 82. I was fishing in a fog, no not from the night before, but a real foggy morning. Anyway, as the fog was lifting, I heard a commotion on the water. I faintly saw an eagle struggling with a fish. It was using it's wings like paddles, and making it's way to shore. When it got there, it rested a while, and then started picking at whatever it was towing. Finally, it flew off with somethin large in it's talons. I went over, and found the front 20" of a pretty large pike. Looked to be maybe a mid thirtyish fish by the head and belly. The next day, the remains were not there. I don't know if an animal claimed them, or the eagle came back.
The other encounter was while fishing early eveninng with Dave Dorazio. The sun was just above the trees, and huge and hot. The was a hen mallard making a ruccous about 50 yards away. She was almost in direct line with the sun. We noticed an eagle take off from a tree on the east side of us, and circle around, to put the sun behind her. She swooped down out of that sun, and hit that mallard hard. She got up in the air with it, hen squawking like crazy. That duck never saw it coming. I think the young eaglets ate well that night!