Is 43 inches a good pike?
by: David Coulson , Colorado6/25/2011
For those following, and those just joining in, the question is, what is a good Northern? On past Saskatchewan adventures, we used the 40 inch mark as our measure and felt that if you caught at least one that size during the week; it was a good trip. Anyway as you probably guessed by now, I achieved that today with a 43 inch fish on our first full dayís fishing.
The day started around six, when the alarm went off, although by then I had already showered and was rigging a nine weight for lake trout. Before heading to the lodge for breakfast I did a bit of casting to test things out. At the lodge we were greeted by a warm fire, friendly smile, cup of coffee, and shortly a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs. Shortly thereafter we gathered our gear and headed to the dock to join Peter (our guide) and head out for a dayís fishing.
My thought was to spend the day chasing Lake Trout, but with the winds up, Peter felt the protected coves were a better choice. Especially as experienced indicated that the big girls often bit best in light rain, which we had off and on all day. While I can be bull-headed about my fishing, I am smart enough to listen to my guide.
The initial run was a bit over a half hour, and Reindeer is big water. So while Peter took it easy, wind and big water equates to a bumpy ride. However, our boat is an 18 feet Crestliner with a 50 hp motor. So, other than a little jostling, we had a good trip. Besides itís a fishing, so having to deal with the elements is part of the deal.
Peterís intent was to get us into big pike. The first cove was filled with fish, so catching wasnít much of an issue, and we did spot a number of big girls that Iím sure would exceed 40 inches. Still we managed good numbers of fish in the mid-thirty inch class. The only adventure was when Ron caught my coat with his inch Daredevil. I indicated he owed me one, and in retrospect I wished Iíd kept my mouth shut on that point, bad karma.
Our next move proved to be a bit more of an adventure. I changed up to a larger fly, a saltwater Seaducer, and casting it on a seven weight proved troublesome. I made an errant cast, hitting Ron. In the process the lens were knocked out of his glasses and lost. Fortunately that was the extent of it. Lesson learned, no matter how good your casting, never, and I mean never let you guard down. Both Ron and I did and it cost us, but fortunately no one was hurt.
The up side, we caught countless 30 inch class fish, heavy and feisty throughout the day. Plus Ron picked up a 40 inch fish on his daredevil and I managed a 43 incher on the fly, which made for a great day catching.
Other highlights included the shore lunch, pike never tasted better and ďhoboĒ coffee is always a treat. Then to top the day off, we made one last run to a shallow cove where we were treated to some top water action, not something I do very often. But we had numerous 30-38 inch fish demolish a Dalburg diver. Nothing quite like the visual effect of the top water takes from Northern Pike. Ah, and while dinking around waiting for lunch, I landed a rather large whitefish, I do love the unexpected.
As I write this, Iím gazing out the front of the lodge at a glassy lake. Good weather is forecast, so needless to Iím looking forward to tomorrowís events here at Arctic Lodges where my expectations have already been exceeded.
Blog content © David Coulson
fishoholic, CO 6/25/2011 11:11:49 PM
Thats more than nice, bigger is always better but ill take a pike in the 40 + range...
Browns Hunter, CO 6/26/2011 10:41:07 AM
43" is a damn nice pike. Of course, I've also heard that where you're fishing, Dave, 50" is the real standard to be shooting for! Go get 'em!
Love that Clouser after the pike chewed on it.
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO 6/26/2011 2:39:38 PM
The fly was actually a seaducer. We had great success with them. I'ts a larger pattern that does help keep the number of hammer handles down. I fished a 4 inch red/while clouser and it was a fish nearly every cast at times, but mostly under 30 inches, tie on the 8-10 inch flies, few fish, most over 24 inches. The 43 is the second largest taken this year at Arctic Lodge, and the largest on a fly.
Lucius, CO 6/26/2011 7:28:18 PM
definitely nice pike. I am one of the old true standard of 20lb+ is a true trophy and until I get one that size, I will be holding off on my replica. I caught a 41.5" pike from Gods Lake in Manitoba, but the estimated weight was only 17lbs. Biggest pike I ever caught, but in my opinion no trophy. Your 43" definitely looks like a trophy. Congrats and I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip. that 40" fish looks like it is pushing 20lbs too!!
Nightstalker, CO 6/26/2011 7:30:09 PM
Good stuff Dave sounds like you are enjoying your trip.
tatonka, CO 6/27/2011 9:33:19 PM
Smile Dave you just caught a pig.
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