I have always gone to East Pike Lake to catch smallmouth bass. They are right up there in tastiness with walleye and fight like heck. So I often wondered why they called the lake East Pike.
We got a hint of that when my son John was 12. It was after supper, the night bite. John was tired of dragging around a bobber and worm harness and put a big hook on and gobbed it with crawlers. He was drifting in 30 or 40 ft of water. I was in another boat and I saw John’s boat being dragged around. I paddled over and saw his rod was bent over and he indeed was being dragged around. “how long have you had him?” I said. “Over 10 minutes”. I pulled up next to John’s boat and coached him into drawing the fish in. There were 3 or 4 more runs and finally we saw the fish. It was a monster pike. John was using light tackle, no leader and an 8lb test line. Thankfully he had a lot of line, good drag set, patience and confidence. We got the fish between the canoes and I attempted to pick him up by the eyes. Problem was that my hand was too small! After several tries and runs, I got him into the boat. That set John’s personal record for pike at 43 inches. It still stand to this day. He has gotten several 40s but nothing over 43.
That pike changed John’s life. He is on a mission to catch big pike. He drags me up there every year so he can hunt for the big fish.
East Pike Lake Monster Northerns
Every year we spend time hunting the monster pike. We have boated dozens of 30 inch and half a dozen 40 and over. This year was no exception.
The first story is about Joe. Joe was fishing the night bite at what we call pike bay. This is the west end of the lake where the lake narrows from half a mile across to 400 yards. This reminded me of what John Hoyer taught in his seminar. Go to a place where the lake narrows. If there is wind, that will generate current and increase fish activity. Joe is pitching a golden redeye spoon. Joe gets a smallmouth hooked and is bringing him in. As the fish approaches the boat, a monster northern grabs the fish and takes off. Zing goes Joe’s line as the monster runs. Joe fought him for 4 runs over 7 minutes. Then as they tried to boat the fish he spit it out and left. The monster was not hooked he just refused to give up the bass!
The next night I caught my 20 inch smally on a popper. He ran sever times and jumped twice. Check out this video and see if you can tell why he was running and jumping!
The grand finally was on our last night. I stayed in camp to watch the twilight. I was tired and my butt was sore. All the boys went down to pike bay sure to land the fish of the trip. They tossed redyes, silver spoons, crank baits and big Rapala’s. Boom! Adrian got a hit. After 4 funs he finally saw the fish. I was a nice pike. Adrian maneuvered the fish over to Joe who grabbed the fish and tossed it into the boat. It was a 40 inch pike! They were in a small canoe. It was a 14 ft Coleman and they are both big boys. As Joe is trying to get the fish to settle down he gets a treble hook in the hand. So he gets the pole from Adrien so he can get some slack to get the hook out. The fish goes nuts, slams the side of the boat and splash; they all go in the drink. Joe has the pole so he swims to shore and lands the fish. Adrian brings in the canoe and the rest of the boys head over to help out. Here is the fish.