Fishing guide gets bitten back by juvenile octopus

GIG HARBOR, Wash. – A South Sound woman’s encounter with a juvenile octopus has gone viral.

Fishing guide Jamie Bisceglia says a fellow fisherman snapped a photo of a young octopus she held up to her face last week. It happened during a fishing derby and she says she meant it as a joke, but before she knew it the animal wrapped its tentacles around her face and bit her twice with its beak.

“This is a quaint little fishing town and I’m just a small-town girl who had an accidental encounter with an octopus,” she said.

Bisceglia says she knows her way around the water and has been fishing rivers, lakes and Puget Sound her entire life.

“I’m in my happy place, I’m in the water,” she said.

But it’s what happened last week that raised her fishing abilities to the next level. At a fishing derby near Tacoma Narrows, Bisceglia says she asked others to snap a photo of a recently caught baby octopus, but the wild animal was apparently in no mood for pictures.

“I put the animal up to my face and it took two bites out of me. I couldn’t pull it off, the tentacles were on my face nose and ears and I was having fun until it lodged itself into me,” she said.

All the while, fellow fishermen continued snapping photos of the odd scene.

“It’s very sore, tender,” she said. “I don’t know if I’ll have a scar from this.”

Bisceglia says she’s now on serious antibiotics but she’s in good spirits. Now she can’t step foot off her boat without people begging to hear how a baby octopus caught a fishing guide.

“I want to empower women and take them fishing on guided trips,” she said. “You never know what you’re going to catch when you’re with me.”

Jamie says she ended up turning the tables on the octopus by eating it for dinner.