While human anglers might be content to sit peacefully by the riverside for hours on end, waiting for a bite, some of the species here on ARKive are far more impatient when it comes to getting their dinner! Join us in a stroll through the animal kingdom fishing hall of fame, claws, teeth and all…
Although often observed cruising slowly and sluggishly, the blue shark is capable of rapid movement if it is excited or feeding. This species will often circle its prey before moving in to attack, and feeds primarily upon relatively small prey, such as bony fish and squid.
The brown bear is an opportunistic forager, and is not one to miss out on an easy meal! Brown bears make seasonal movements in response to food aggregations, such as spawning salmon, during which time large numbers of bears may gather in relatively small areas.
The brown pelican is the only species of pelican to plunge dive for its fish. Sighting prey from the air, the brown pelican then plummets into the water, trapping unsuspecting fish in its expandable pouch.
Mediterranean monk seal
An important figure in the history of human civilization, the Mediterranean monk seal appeared on one of the first ever coins, around 500 BC. Today, however, this species is deliberately killed by fishermen, who perceive the species as a competitor for fish
Unlike the average domestic moggy, the fishing cat isn’t afraid to get its paws wet! Largely active at night, fishing cats are good swimmers and have been observed diving for fish, as well as scooping them out of the water with their paws.
North Pacific giant octopus
There are not many that would be brave enough to take on a shark, so the North Pacific giant octopus earns its place in the Top 10 Fishing Species through sheer bravery! The North Pacific giant octopus is the largest species of octopus in the world, so sharks beware!
African clawless otter
The dexterous, hand-like forefeet of the African clawless otter are its most remarkable feature, enabling it to grapple with its prey with notable ease. Overturning rocks, churning up mud, and probing vegetation, the African clawless otter uses its hands to catch crustaceans, molluscs, frogs, fish and water tortoises.
An extremely intelligent species, the bottlenose dolphin has some ingenious methods for catching fish. Working as a team, they drive shoals of fish onto the shore and beach themselves, snapping up the stranded fish before wriggling back into the water.
Dog-faced water snake
Not to let the side down for the reptiles, the unusually named dog-faced water snake also has a taste for fish. This species is a strong swimmer, but often uses a sit-and-wait strategy, not too dissimilar to the average human angler.
Osprey – King of the Fishers!
Undoubtedly one of the most accomplished fishers, the osprey feeds almost exclusively on fish. Hovering or circling at moderate height, it plunges down feet first to snatch fish from the water’s surface, sometimes even completely submerging in the process. It may even catch more than one wriggling fish at a time!
Why not watch our most popular video, and see for yourself why the osprey is king of the fishers!
Becky Moran, ARKive Species Text Author