Fishermen Who Stare At Seagulls And Win

I keep seeing an article for a study about staring down seagulls. Well shorebirds, because “sea gulls” don’t actually exist. Anyway, all anglers know if you stare down the birds they leave you alone. Only until you break eye contact, then they go for your bait. They are relentless, and rightfully so, they have become human dependent for an easy meal.

two “seagulls” fighting over a Slim Jim at Cupola park

We get scoped out by gulls all the time. We have bait on cutting boards, pieces we cut off we toss towards the water, and bunker pieces here and there. The birds know to check out the surf anglers, the surf anglers know how to back down the birds. It is a love hate relationship.

baitfish washing up on beach, delaware, sussex county, surf fihsing, bluefish,fall run, gull eating baitfish
Gull feeding on baitfish that washed up, you can see they are still flipping around … photo by Katrina Fuller

We don’t need a study for that, anyone who fishes could have told them that, however there are exceptions. Those gulls in Rehoboth are aggressive as hell when it comes to Thrasher’s fries, and all food on the boards in every beach town USA.

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I made that mistake one day, got a small tub of fries, and sat on that first bench. A gull lands on my knee and just stares at me, I stare back. He stares, I stare back.
I shoo him off, he lands back on my knee.
Not giving a single damn, that gull was determined to get a Thrasher’s French Fry.
I moved he followed, I stared he followed.
So it works and it doesn’t work, it depends on how determined that bird is and how much it thinks you are an easy mark. On the beach we are probably a little menacing to them, than the board walkers. They run, we stand our ground.

Gull pulling food from a garbage bag hanging on fence at Indian River Inlet

Ocean City, New Jersey is starting to use falcons to keep “seagulls” away. They should teach the tourists not to feed the birds, but that is not the only issue with gulls. They have multiple food sources this time of year. When the season is over they all gather on the beach in groups looking for food, missing the tourist season. Chasing them away from their home is kind of mean. It is like saying the ocean is infested with sharks, no it isn’t, they live there.

Fish On!
Rich King

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