One of my favorite things to do is go Northern Pike fishing up north in Minnesota. While everyone else is fishing for Walleye, Crappie or Perch I always have the biggest ugliest lure tied on in the hopes of catching a big ol Northern Pike.
The obsession started way back In 1986. It was our very first fishing trip to the great up north. As a kid loving to fish I thought that I had died and went to heaven. I remember getting settled in and walking outside of our lakefront cabin for the first time. It was like something out of a scene in the movie “On Golden Pond“. The sun was setting and the lake was like glass. I was hooked for life after that moment. Even at a young age, I was memorized by the beauty of it all. The next morning we were all up bright and early at 5 am just itching to get on the lake. We got loaded up and headed out. The fishing was fantastic and we were all having the time of our lives.
Well I can’t remember what day of the week it was but it was toward the end of the trip. My cousin and I were on a little boat with a 6hp motor not to far off of the shore by our cabin. It was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon and we were just messing around throwing daredevil spoons trying to catch as many northern pike as we could. At the time I was fishing with an old saltwater fishing pole my father had given me. The drag on the reel was broke but it had 30 pound test line on it so I thought I would be OK. So I heaved my lure out as far as I could and started to reel it in as soon as it hit the water. At the time I was new to catching northern pike and I remember my uncle telling me the faster you can reel the better when using spoons. So I took that advice and was reeling as fast as I could while staying under control. Well, about 10 yards from the boat a northern pike hit my lure like Mike Tyson hitting a heavy bag. I had caught a 7 pound northern earlier in the week and it felt nothing like this. I quickly yelled out get the net! This is a big one! My cousin laughed and yelled out, whatever! I replied, no seriously this time it really is a big one. This fish was heavier than any other fish that I had experienced then and now. I remember it taking off and almost pulling the rod out of my hands. I griped down leaned back and finally got enough strength to reel it close enough to get a glimpse of this monster. I remember seeing a flash of something that looked like a 600 pound alligator. I heard my cousin behind me yell that thing is huge!” After that, it headed under the boat and pulled the boat about 5 yards and then I heard the worst sound ever, SNAAAAAAP!!!! My line broke and it was gone!
Our family has been going to the same area for 30+ years now. Even though I look forward to the trip every year nothing has compared to that first year of fishing. I will always remember the one that got away and I have never recovered from it. So every year I try to catch the one, yes the one that got away back in 1986. The picture above is what I caught this year. It is about 8 pounds not too shabby but it is nothing like the one that got away.