One of the fun adventures at Doc Warner’s is that you never know what you are going to have on the end of your line. One of the more fun calls I get at the lodge is when someone has hooked into an octopus.

Octopus only have a lifespan of about 2 years and they will get up to about 4 feet in length. When they come up to the surface they will be bright red because they are not happy. They may squirt ink and do all sorts of acrobatics.


I Want to Eat It
When someone calls or texts saying they have an octopus on the line, the first question is always, “What do I do?”

My response is always, “Well, do you want to eat it?”

If you want to eat it, then bring it back in to the dock. You can throw it in the fish well without worrying about unhooking it, hitting it with the bat, or slitting anything like you do with a fish.

They may try to open the lid. Don’t worry. Just have fun with the experience.

I Don’t Want to Eat It
If you don’t want to eat it, then you need to figure out how to get it off the hook. The easiest way is to hang it a little bit out of the water and most of the time they will get themselves off of the hook.

If that doesn’t work, it can be challenging to get the hook off because they might wrap the tentacles around your arm or the pole and those suckers work pretty well. They may leave a pretty good welt.

In some situations it is necessary to take the bait knife and tease the flesh of the octopus away from the hook to release it.

A Guest Hooks an Octopus

Final Thought
Don’t forget to take some pictures. They are an interesting animal and not all of our guests come across one.

You need to be careful when dealing with an octopus, but they are not very dangerous.

Mark Warner
Mark H. Warner was raised in Juneau and he has been fishing the waters of Alaska for more than 30 years. He grew up working with his father developing Doc Warner’s from its earliest days. After getting his Ph.D. in Mechanical engineering, he went to work in the industry where he later completed an Executive MBA. Then in 2010, his father, Doc, offered Mark and his wife, Kristina, the opportunity to move back to Alaska and operate the lodge full-time. Today, Mark has over 25 years of experience with Doc Warner’s. His knowledge and experience teaching people about self-guided fishing in Alaska are now used to create lasting memories for Doc Warner’s guests.