Video shows battle between bald eagle and large muskie in Minnesota

By Grant Olsen, Contributor | Posted - Aug. 18, 2019 at 10:20 a.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — Muskies are often referred to as the "fish of 10,000 casts" due to their uncanny ability to evade anglers. But what happens when a bald eagle sinks its talons into one?

A new video taken on the St. Croix River in Minnesota shows that while muskies may be powerful, they’re no match for a hungry eagle. The iPhone footage comes courtesy of Dan Goff, who was boating on the river with his wife, Andie.

Goff shared the video on Twitter with a caption explaining that he initially thought they’d encountered an injured bird.

“The first thing I saw was the back fin of the fish and eagle’s head, so I thought it was like a seagull,” he told CBS 4 News. “It seemed like it was injured because it wasn’t moving well and it’s in the water. Weird to see a bird in the water.”

Eventually, the startled couple realized the eagle was in perfect health and was using its considerable strength to wrangle a large fish to shore. The eagle’s full wingspan was on display as it made its way out of the water with the torpedo-shaped fish in tow.

The muskie didn’t immediately admit defeat, breaking free at one point and attempting to get back in the river. But the determined eagle wasn’t about to lose its prey.

“Muskies are strong,” Goff added. “They are strong. That thing was 10 pounds or more. But the eagle was stronger. It used its wings and sheer determination to pull the fish on shore.”

The Goffs eventually continued their cruise and moved on down the river. When they returned an hour later, the eagle was right on the shore where they’d left it. And in the brief follow-up video posted to Twitter, it’s clear that the muskie had officially lost the battle and become the raptor's supper.

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About the Author: Grant Olsen -----------------------------

Grant Olsen joined the contributor 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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