A family going fishing over the weekend for striped bass might have expected to reel in a few unwanted sunfish, but what they caught instead was not even a water-dwelling animal. It was a bald eagle.
The Freeman family was on Smith Lake in Alabama Sunday morning with guide Bubba Sorensen, according to Al.com, when the eagle came down to steal the bait they had on a fishing line.
Sorensen said the bird was not hooked but the line did get tangled around its talon, making flying away impossible.
“I’ve caught a lot of things in my life, but not a bald eagle,” Sorensen said. “I hope I never catch another one.”
“It just yanked him out of the sky,” Mike Freeman said of the caught fishing line, according to Al.com.
Freeman’s children took pictures and video of the bald eagle as their father and Sorensen pulled the bird in the water back toward the boat and untangled its leg.
Watch the footage showing the eagle flopping around in the water:
Al.com reported the family saying after the bird was freed, it swam to shore, shook its wings dry and took off.