CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Man on fishing trip cuts trapped whale free of net

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 6:34 AM HST
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SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - For five friends fishing off the coast of California, the 180-pound tuna they wrangled was a big catch, but little did they know, the release that happened the next day is what they’ll be talking about for years to come.

Conditions were perfect last Friday for a weekend out on the water. Five guys were on a fishing boat, hoping for a big catch.

“The sun was just going down, and we hooked a bluefin tuna,” Matt Capron said.

A hundred miles off the coast of Point Loma, Capron and his buddies won an hour and a half battle against the 180-pounder.

This would be the highlight of the trip, or so they thought. But the next morning, they were in for a bigger surprise.

“And I said, ‘Hey, there’s a whale on this paddy,’” Capron said.

As they came closer, they noticed that the whale was in bad shape.

“It couldn’t move because it was essentially attached to the bottom of the ocean,” Capron said.

The whale was caught in a lobster trap. That’s when Capron jumped in.

“The rope was attached to its body right before the fluke. And it was wrapped, I don’t know, six or seven times,” he said.

With a filet knife in hand, Capron dove under, slashing the rope one loop at a time.

After the second dive and a couple more cuts, Capron finally freed the animal.

A few minutes later, the whale came back, as if it forgot to say something.

“You know, I have no idea I can’t read too much into it. We’re just so fortunate that we came upon it when we did,” Capron said.

And that’s how their tuna fishing trip turned into an unforgettable whale-saving trip.

“It was probably one of the highlights of my life, honestly,” Capron said.

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