You never know quite what you’ll find when you go fishing. You could spend the whole day without a single bite, or you might reel in a big one within the first half hour. You might even find something you never could have expected out in the water, as this Montana family did.
The Herefords were out fishing for mackinaw (lake trout) in Flathead Lake when they spotted something flailing around in the water just up ahead. They decided to get closer and investigate, but couldn’t believe what they found.
It was a young bobcat, splashing around in the middle of the lake, fighting for its life.
Brett Hereford, an experienced fisherman, quickly grabbed a nearby net to fish the little critter out of the water. Meanwhile, his dad, Bob, grabbed his phone and started filming the unbelievable scene.
The bobcat was clearly tired, soaked, and shivering from the cold. It also wasn’t too happy about its situation, growling angrily at the fishermen as they filmed it and tried to figure out if it was a boy or a girl.
Local fishing expert, Cindy Benson, revealed that the bobcat may not have survived if not for the Herefords’ intervention.
Benson works as the manager of Mack Days, a program organized together with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to eliminate unwanted mackinaw from the local ecosystem.
It was quite the experience for those guys. They were just anglers that were fishing for Mack Days during the event. (The bobcat) was quite a ways out (from shore) and they went over and looked at it. They believed that if they didn’t net it, it was going to drown. It looked really tired.
After netting the bobcat and worrying about its safety, the fishermen rushed to shore and let it loose.
It was acting like it wanted loose, so they did take it in to shore and turned it loose. Other anglers went over and watched the whole process. They saw it a while later on the other side of Finley Point walking along the shore.
So how did the bobcat end up out there in the first place? Nobody knows. Some locals suggested it might have been trying to swim over to an island in search of food or might even have been snatched up by an eagle and then dropped into the lake.
Whatever the reasoning behind the bobcat’s unlikely appearance in the water, it’s lucky that the Herefords were in the area and did what they could to help out. If it had been left a little longer, the young feline would almost certainly have run out of energy and drowned. It was definitely a day to remember for the fishermen, and you can see how it all happened in the clip down below, shared on Bob’s Facebook page.
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