FishermanTim

Saw something I couldn't identify....

15 posts in this topic

I was fishing a local river (well, local by my standards) on Saturday and after a really fun day of fighting monster pickerel and some dink bass, I was paddling down river and saw something surface about 20-30 feet in front of me.

 

Now I know what swims in this river: Bass, pickerel, pike, carp, snapping turtles, beavers, muskrats and (heard about but not seen) otters.

 

Whatever this creature was, it was big, REAL BIG. It breached the surface, looking like when a whale or dolphin comes up for a breath of air, but only there was no showing of head or limbs. All that showed was a shiny dark gray object that moved like when a whale/dolphin does.

 

My only conclusion was a huge snapping turtle. Seeing that it's a muddy-bottom river, it's shell would be covered in mud which would account for the color.

What really impressed me was the size.

 

Based on my POV, the top shell I saw (from front to back) would have had to be somewhere around 3-4 feet long. The closest size comparison would be like a loggerhead turtle.

I mean, most adults could have ridden this thing!

 

I laugh now because when I'm kayak fishing this particular stretch of river I have turtles rise up to check out what I am constantly, and some of them are big ones too! 

Am I worried? No, because they are curious, not aggressive and I have no desire to screw with them anyway.

 

Hope you all have had the chance to get out and have your own outdoor adventures!

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1 hour ago, FishermanTim said:

I was fishing a local river (well, local by my standards) on Saturday and after a really fun day of fighting monster pickerel and some dink bass, I was paddling down river and saw something surface about 20-30 feet in front of me.

 

Now I know what swims in this river: Bass, pickerel, pike, carp, snapping turtles, beavers, muskrats and (heard about but not seen) otters.

 

Whatever this creature was, it was big, REAL BIG. It breached the surface, looking like when a whale or dolphin comes up for a breath of air, but only there was no showing of head or limbs. All that showed was a shiny dark gray object that moved like when a whale/dolphin does.

 

My only conclusion was a huge snapping turtle. Seeing that it's a muddy-bottom river, it's shell would be covered in mud which would account for the color.

What really impressed me was the size.

 

Based on my POV, the top shell I saw (from front to back) would have had to be somewhere around 3-4 feet long. The closest size comparison would be like a loggerhead turtle.

I mean, most adults could have ridden this thing!

 

I laugh now because when I'm kayak fishing this particular stretch of river I have turtles rise up to check out what I am constantly, and some of them are big ones too! 

Am I worried? No, because they are curious, not aggressive and I have no desire to screw with them anyway.

 

Hope you all have had the chance to get out and have your own outdoor adventures!

Just be careful when your leaning over and  lipping a bass, that that monster doesnt reach up and grab your hand for lunch. What state are you in?

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I'd be willing to bet it was.

We rarely see snappers that size here in MA.

Doesn't mean there aren't any, but that most people don't know they're around.

 

I was fishing a pond in Westwood, MA a few years back (from kayak) and had one rise up from the bottom a couple feet to my right. I came up, looked around, took a breath and headed back down.

Most people don't realize that they can be quite colorful when they aren't coated in mud and algae. (see Hook I's photo)

 

Again, I wasn't worried, just shocked to see one so "up close and personal".

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I read Shiny Dark Grey and moved like a dolphin.  

 

Think it might be a dolphin? 

 

Doesn't compute with turtle to me.   I've seen carp that size. I once saw a pike swimming with it's head clear out of the water. Swam like that for nearly 100yds.  

Sturgeon do weird things too. 

Edited by PSegnatelli

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Once in a rowboat on a lake in NY I reeled up a sunfish on an ultralite rod.  As the fish was about a foot from the surface, a snapping turtle of about the size you speak of swam up from the bottom and tried to grab the fish.  The fish went so crazy I could hardly control the rod.  The turtle spotted me in the boat and was scared off and swam back down at great speed.  I didn't think I was that ugly!  

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I saw a sturgeon while I was fishing off a pier near center city Philadelphia once.And a local bait and tackle shop put on their weekly report that someone hooked one on the same pier. It was huge 5 to 7ft (small for a surgeon}. When I was in highschool in the late 1970s a dead sturgeon washed up on shore in a park near that pier.The Pa fish and boat came and took it away.

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Based on what inhabits this particular river, my first guess would be a turtle. May not have been a snapping turtle because the surface of what I saw was smooth, not ridged/bumpy like they normally are. The way it surfaced, all I saw was what I would call the "back" rise up like when a whale/dolphin comes up for a breath. No head, legs, flippers or tail was seen just the wide back.

Think about the size of one of those saucer/sled things kids use to slide down a hill in winter...that big! 

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Hi Tim,

Sounds a little similar to an experience I had last summer fishing a local lake in NY - I'm very familiar with what's in this lake (not as familiar as I thought I guess). I set up at a regular spot on the bank and was annoyed to see a 5' log floating in the water in my path of cast - I cast over it anyway and to my surprise that log erupted in the water as the log was an enormous grass carp, I was stunned at the amount of water this thing displaced - One of the few times I've been spooked by something in fresh water.

 

Peter

 

 

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27 mins ago, petergulickjr said:

Hi Tim,

Sounds a little similar to an experience I had last summer fishing a local lake in NY - I'm very familiar with what's in this lake (not as familiar as I thought I guess). I set up at a regular spot on the bank and was annoyed to see a 5' log floating in the water in my path of cast - I cast over it anyway and to my surprise that log erupted in the water as the log was an enormous grass carp, I was stunned at the amount of water this thing displaced - One of the few times I've been spooked by something in fresh water.

 

Peter

 

 

Yeah, they are very easily spooked, even though there isn't much that would try to eat them when they get that big.

My early experiences with carp were having one ram into my kayak while night fishing (shook the kayak), having one jump about 10 feet in front of me and splashing the front of the kayak in the process, paddling parallel to the shallow shoreline and have them erupt and rocket off with an explosive burst of speed/energy.

This particular river, due to its very limited shore access, doesn't see much carp fishing pressure so these fish are HUGE. I mean in the 30+lb, 3-4 foot length range. 

 

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