Expect the Unexpected

Posted by MNAngler On July - 30 - 2009

23" northern pike, 8" girthSpecies: Northern Pike
Size: 23″
Lure used: bubble gum super fluke

Date: 7/22/2009
Time: 5-6:15pm
Body of water: Poplar Lake
Location: Gunflint Trail
Weather Conditions: clear with some clouds, thunderhead to the North




After a hard day’s work building a raised walkway for the cabin, we workers decided we deserved a pontoon ride. Ken, George, George’s wife, my kids, and I took off and decided to check out walleye alley again.

On the way, I noticed a channel we usually blow by. I asked Ken about the area and he said he doesn’t normally fish there because of all the cabins. We decided to check it out with the fishfinder on the way home.

Once again, there were no fish on the fishfinder, but near the West end, George and I decided to do some casting. On one cast, the bubble gum fluke I was using had some resistance on the retrieve, but not enough to feel like a fish. However, I later found some tears in the plastic fluke, presumably from some sharp teeth.

We headed back Eastward along the shore and Ken saw some activity by a downed tree. Both George and I cast into the area with our favorite lures (bubble gum fluke and beetle spinner), but neither of us got a bite.

It was getting late, but we Ken said we had time to check out that new area I saw on the way out. We motored over there and I fished the North shore of a small island, but George opted not to cast. Nothing was there so we headed deeper into the area.

The sun was out and as we headed into a narrow bay and I saw a shadow being cast by a tree overhanging the water. I dropped my bubble gum fluke into it and got an immediate hit. The fish hit so hard, the drag screamed a bit. I set the hook immediately and the fight began. Halfway back to the boat, it jumped about a foot out of the water. The glimpse we got looked like a huge bass. The good news is that I estimated it at about 18″. The bad news is that the jump did its job and it got unhooked. My jaw just sat open, stunned. The bass won that round.

George’s wife said I should cast to try to get it again. I knew that wouldn’t work. Fish don’t strike again so soon if it succeeds on getting loose. But to humor her, I cast anyway.

Then I got hit again! I couldn’t believe it. I stayed with it this time and when it got to the boat, we found a 23″ Northern (approx. 4.5 lbs) on the end of the line. I wondered out loud if it was the same fish, but George pointed out that the fish that jumped had a flatter nose. He was right. And as I thought about it later, Northern don’t jump out of the water like that. But bass do.

It felt good to land such a nice fish, but I wanted that bass. I vowed to go back before the week was out.


3 Responses to “Expect the Unexpected”

  1. [...] that night, as we were heading out, Ken asked if I wanted to go back for that bass I missed earlier in the evening. I thought it was too soon, so Ken, George, and I went around Young’s Island instead. That [...]

  2. [...] George had gone home earlier in the morning, so it was just Ken and I for the rest of the week. We decided it was time to go after the bass I missed the day before. [...]

  3. [...] drifted East and about the area I found teeth marks on a fluke the other day, I got a hit. I found a 21″ Northern at the end of my [...]

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