Date: 16 August, 2012. Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Little Bay de Noc. The unstable weather that is slowly transitioning us into fall blew up a strong northwest gale and covered the sky with a thick mat of gloomy grey clouds that spit rain on those foolish enough to go outside. Me, I must be the fool's fool because I decided to go fishing in it. Upon contemplation of the miserable conditions I was faced with, I came to the conclusion that the only fish likely to be on the prowl in such nasty conditions is none other than the nastiest fish in fresh water, the marauder of aquatic forests, the northern pike.I launched the boat in the shelter of a weedy inlet as a means of avoiding the brunt of the wind. It didn't take long to prove that old esox was indeed on the prowl either, as my second cast with a white pike spinnerbait produced a nice 27 inch specimen. I was burning the spinnerbait over the tops of the submerged weed growth, but every now and then I would just kill it, and let it sink. This pike hit on the fall.
I quickly caught a couple more fish that were similar in size to that first one as I battled the wind with the Minn Kota bow mount while burning the spinner over the weed tops. I knew there were bigger pike lurking, it was just a matter of catching one. About then I noticed a careless mink swimming across the inlet. I thought to myself, "If only he knew." As the two-pound mustelid landed safely on the far shore I couldn't help to think that he had a bit of luck on his side to make it across alive.
Shortly after, I casted my spinnerbait over the weeds just as I had been doing all along. I turned the reel crank five or six times, and killed it. Just then I felt a hard whack, and set the hook into a solid fish. The fish immediately dove into the thick weeds below, but I was able to yank him back out while maintaining a nice constant pressure, torquing the head of the fish in my direction. The fish approached the boat, and I got a look at him, but only for a second because he turned around in a flash and ripped off an impressive amount of drag. I heaved him hack to the boat, but he would not give up. He turned around and made another strong run, blasting back into the weeds like a slimy torpedo. Once more, I pulled him back to boatside where he made one last effort to escape by diving under the boat, only to be turned around and scooped up into the net.
The fish was handled with utmost care. The hooks were removed before the fish was ever lifted from the water, and the time out of water was only enough to suffice for a few good pictures of the esox to be taken. After that the fish was returned to the water to resume the sinister operation that is the life of a northern pike. About the time the release was made the sun poked through a couple of the clouds and projected one of the most brilliant rainbows across the sky that I have ever seen. What a fantastic end to a great day in conditions that were nothing less than totally miserable.