Monday, July 4, 2011

To Catch a Pike The Hard Way

All photos on this post are courtesy of Quinn Sherman

    It was an overcast morning. A cool cloudy start to the day, perfect for chasing those toothy northerns. I wanted to go first thing but other responsibilities lay in wait planning and scheming to ruin yet another so called perfect pike hunt. I was determined though and determination pays off sometimes. This was one of those times. After getting my errands done and the canoe loaded, I was able to head out with my daughter in tow. I picked up a bakers dozen worms for her and we headed with angst to the lake of choice.

    The cloud cover and cool air I was counting on for pike fishing had almost completely vanished and the wind had picked up just a little by the time we got out on the water but the shore line was protected enough for smooth water. What fun it is to see the excitement on a child's face when they start catching big blue gill and small large mouth bass, both of which put up a good fight for a little girl. I was having as much fun watching her catch fish as I was catching my own. I have to admit right here that I too was using an ultra light spin cast rod with crawlers for a little while and a larger pole for throwing spoons for pike. The spoons were just not getting the work done so I switched over to my fly rod, third cast with my 8wt and landed a small large mouth bass. I put away my ultra light and crawlers and took out my 4wt with an elk hair caddis, hopper imitation, and 6# tippet. I started pulling in the blue gill as fast as that caddis hit the water. Between the two of us we had a descent amount of blue gill on the stringer for the next days lunch but, I still had not caught a pike, so on we fished.

    I said "one more blue gill from this hole Quinn, and we will move on." I threw out my caddis once more with a wide loop and a light fall and started the ritualistic stripping of line........SLURP! I had another gill, oh wait, "it's pulling awful hard it must be a bass!" I said. "It is dad, I see it!" her excitement echoed mine until I worked it in closer to the canoe and then........I squealed like FR.

    Now in the years that I have been fishing for pike I have seen some pretty neat stuff, like the time one of my buddies somehow caught a pike while we were trolling. Instead of hooking the fish he got his line wrapped around it and tied off so the pike couldn't get away. This however had happened to me, and was like something from a tall tale or something you'd see in the ocean or some other big water. The blue gill that I had initially thought I had caught and then assumed was a bass turned out to be a northern pike which had attacked the blue gill that swallowed my caddis that was tied on a 6# tippet made of mono that was strung up on my 4wt fly rod. Crazy right? I know.

    Being the fool I am, I had been unprepared for such an occasion as catching a northern on such light tackle so I had no net.....Fool!...I eased the pike in close to the canoe and cautiously reached for the back of his neck. With a big splash in my face he raced away with "his" catch and my line. I tenderly let him have his way and lightly coaxed him back up to the canoe. This time I was a little more aggressive and grabbed him by the back of the head and strong armed this 28 inch thoothy grin into the canoe.

After he was securely on the steel stringer with our mess of blue gill we moved on to the next spot where I caught another pike, this time with more conventional methods. A smaller version that swallowed Pikes Pepto, a top water gurgler fly I tied up specifically for pike, this made number four plus one bass for that fly. I think that it's a keeper.
The fish were properly rinsed off and placed in a bucket of water for the transport home

He tried to escape but was too slow

  Have you ever caught fish in an unconventional manner? Tell me about it in the comments.

                                 Thanks for reading,
                                                      Coyote Luke


  1. My dad (whom you knew) had a king salmon hit the rocks at his feet at full speed at Cheboygan dam and stun itself. He reached down and grabbed it. Zach and Kevin G were there, they called him Captain Hook ever after.

  2. Once while fishing a high mountain lake in Wyoming, frustrated over seeing but not catching trout as long as your arm, my father-in-law sat down on a rock to take a break. He had put a bare treble hook on his line and let it dangle while he ate. A large cutthroat jumped up and impaled himself on the hook. Largest fish caught on that trip.

  3. haha, that reminds me of an illegal method of fishing here. A bare treble hook that has a lump of lead attatched to the bottom of it known as an onaway dry fly.

  4. Now, don't you start squealing like FR!!! =D
    All my fly fishing is But, I have caught a fish while turning around and walking the bank upstream with my line dragging in the water and accidently hooking one! (Maybe it's better that I don't try!) Ha.
    A very nice post of a special daddy-daughter day!

  5. Great post and pics. Nice looking fish also. I once caught a trout right where it goes to the bathroom. I have also caught one while pulling up my pants and readjusting my belt. Great Post. Tight Lines.

  6. I must comment again to defend my honor. Squealing? I'll have to read these posts more thoroughly. Still, a great tale and fish and time out with Quinny. Good stuff Luke, keep it coming.

  7. Ever heard of the singing maiden? One day of fishing, our total catch was zero and we almost called it a day when my wife just sang a tune and a couple of fishes just jumped on our boat:-) Can't really forget that experience.

  8. I believe thet Ernie from sesame st. did the same,
    "here fishy,fishy,fishy"