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Fishing on the Alaskan Peninsula
Sockeye salmon are a delicacy for both bears and people alike, and a short floatplane trip across Cook Inlet from Kenai provides an excellent opportunity to catch fish directly alongside Ursos Arctos Horribles. Fishing from an 18' johnboat in 2-3 feet of water proved to be a thrill as a large sow with three cubs in tow caught her own fish sometimes a mere 10 feet away. Two hours of juggling two cameras and fishing pole yielded these photos as well as a limit of three 4lb sockeye salmon. Most all photos were taken with a Nikon D300 and 200-400mm f4 VR lens; with some even taken with a D200 with 16-85mm lens due to the bear just being too close.
Boars (males) will kill cubs so that the sow will go back into estrous and he can mate again. The sows have learned they can hang out near people fishing and the boars will stay away. Therefore, the sows are not particularly aggressive; however, certainly you would have to answer to her should you get out of the boat and get too near her cubs. In addition, when she swims or wades too near your boat you stand still and refrain from casting or any other sudden moves that could startle her. On occasion they do try to get into boats, so fish are immediately stowed away on ice....