Spearfisherman Fights Off Aggressive Sea Lion For A White Seabass

Sea lion attacks spearfisherman

I’m willing to do a lot of things to protect my catch, but fighting an angry sea lion is certainly not one of them…

A spearfisherman named Jose Liccardo was diving off the California coast recently when he stumbled upon a large school of white seabass, a highly sought after species by both sport and commercial fishers alike for their size, strength, and most of all, taste.

As anyone who’s ever gone fishing knows, stumbling into a school of big fish is pretty much the best feeling on the planet and Liccardo himself said he had the feeling it was going to be a great day, but unbeknownst to him, he wasn’t the only living creature eyeing up the seabass.

The West Coast of the US is home to around 300,000 sea lions, and while we may get a distorted view of them from cute videos from zoos playing with beach balls, these guys are top predators in their own right. They hunt down pretty much any type of fish they can find and while they are intelligent and appear to be playful at times, when they attack or get territorial, they can be downright violent.

Plus, they have some big ol’ teeth…

Liccardo experienced this first hand while trying to bring in his speared fish and he did a great job explaining the situation so let’s just read it from his caption:

“The moment I saw the school of white sea bass, I knew it was going to be an amazing day. I took my shot and clipped my floatline to my belt reel as the fish took off. Little did I know, I wasn’t the only one interested in my catch. Out of nowhere, an aggressive sea lion emerged, setting its sights on my elusive fish. The battle was on.

Calling my crew over, I knew this wasn’t going to be a solo mission. Lauren Saraua was quick to jump into action, grabbing the floatline with me. But the sea lion, with power I underestimated, dragged us through the water with astonishing force…

Lauren, with quick thinking, managed to get the line to the boat where Fussaki took over, pulling with all his might and nearly lost a few fingers he had wrapped in the line. Fired Up TV was right there beside me, trying to deter our determined adversary while Lauren grabbed a knife and tackled the kelp that had entangled our catch, thanks to the sea lion’s erratic movements.

The struggle was intense. Every time I thought the fish was mine, the sea lion proved me wrong, snatching it right from my hands. It was a battle of wills, me versus the sea lion, with the crew lending their strength and wit.

After what felt like an eternity, over 20 minutes of sheer determination and teamwork, the tide finally turned in our favor. With one final effort, I secured the fish long enough to hand it over to the guys on the boat, victorious at last.

The sea had once again tested my resolve. But together with my incredible crew, we overcame. This catch wasn’t just a fish it was a testament to our spirit, our teamwork and our love of adventure.”

My palms are sweating thinking about that… they’re all lucky the sea lion was really only going after the fish. I know they don’t really attack humans but come on, a 600 to 1,000 pound meat-eating creature can do a lot of damage, even if it’s not intending to do so.

Good on them for securing their catch I guess, but man, it seems like a lot of risk for not much reward. I hope they really enjoyed those filets later on because they were certainly well-earned.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock