Big Northern Pike Escapes Once, But Not A Second Time

Will Smith and the pike that almost got away. (Kyle Smith photo)

While we’re on the subject of unusual experiences with fish (see previous post), here’s a story I received today from Kyle Smith of Duluth.

“My son Will (age 11), and I, along with three others, spent four days last week on Lake Namakan in  Voyageurs National Park.  We had two boats on the trip. Will and I were in one, and the three others were in a second boat.  We were in a small bay one morning trolling along and Will said. “Fish on, and it feels big.”  I reeled in and grabbed the net.

“As the fish got closer to the boat we were both shocked to see the size of the northern.  When the northern saw us, and apparently didn’t like what he saw, he dove away from the boat.  In the process, he broke my son’s pole in half.  To our surprise the fish was still on the line.  I decided to switch positions and take the reel and give the net to Will.  I was able to bring the fish back closer to the boat and then realized Will would probably not be able to net this mammoth of a fish and lift it into the boat, so we switched back.

“As the fish got closer to the net and boat, apparently still not warming up to us, he snapped his head and this time broke the line.  We were shocked and saddened that we lost such a fish.  The other boat came by and we described our encounter.  We started to get another reel ready, and the guys in the other boat began fishing.  Will yelled to them that if they caught the fish that it was his.  Less than 10 minutes later, that is exactly what happened.  They caught the northern with my son’s lure still in the mouth and saw part of his rod before a piece sank to the bottom.  The fish measured 37 inches.  My son didn’t get his fish, but he got a picture with the fish that got away and got his lure back.”


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