For a group of kayak anglers off Panama recently, fishing became secondary as humpback whales surfaced and began to throw their weight around.
While the astonishingly close encounter left them in awe, the angler closest to the activity told FTW Outdoors that he feared one of the 40-ton whales might land on him.
“It made me realize how small we are as people,” Byron Young said, adding that the breaching whale in the footage was only 25 feet away. “When they hit the water I could feel a rumble through my kayak into my body.”
The encounter occurred in September but Field only recently published the footage as part of the YouTube episode.
The kayak anglers were guests at Los Buzos Resort, which is popular among fishermen and surfers.
Young, who is from Riverside, Ca., is said to be enjoying “a front-row seat” as the whales revealed their tail flukes and slapped at the surface with their pectoral fins.
But Young said he was peddling backwards even before one of the whales breached because he wasn’t sure the whales were aware of his presence.
“I was trying to get away from them because I thought one was going to land on me and I kept telling myself this is really going to hurt,” he recalled.
Young added that the fishing was equally “amazing” and sent FTW Outdoors the above image showing him posing with a large roosterfish that he caught and released.