Have You Seen This? Jumping salmon knocks over angler

Posted August 11, 2016

KENAI RIVER — Fishing often follows a standard process, where a fish is hooked, the angler reels it in and then either keeps or releases it. But a new YouTube video from Alaska serves as a stark reminder of just how chaotic the sport can get.

The video was shot by Brett Freeman as his father reeled in a king salmon on Alaska’s Kenai River. The river is famous for its massive salmon, and actually produced the world record back in 1985. So everyone in the boat was prepared for a large fish. What they weren’t expecting was a flying fish.

“My dad got it close to the boat with about 30 feet of line out,” Freeman said. “At this point we had not seen the king surface. All of a sudden, it shot out of the water and hit my dad in the chest.”

The impact sent multiple anglers tumbling backward, with Freeman’s father getting the worst of it. He ended up on his back in the bottom of the boat, with the 66-pound salmon thrashing around next to him.

Freeman’s brother-in-law saw the precariousness of the situation and pounced on the salmon so it wouldn’t injure anyone. The guide then dispatched the king and the fishing party was able to take stock of the situation.

Freeman's father was a bit roughed up, and his rod had been snapped in two, but he was all smiles. He’d “landed” a trophy salmon and an unforgettable fishing story in the process.

Grant Olsen joined the team in 2012. He covers outdoor adventures, travel, product reviews and other interesting things. He is also the author of the book "Rhino Trouble." You can contact him at


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