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Master Angler: Ledger's Big Pike

Master Angler: Ledger's Big Pike

It was a breezy June morning on Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota. The Haugen family-team, consisting of Dad: Lane, Mom: Kristan, and 4-year old: Ledger, was registered for the “Doug Fixen Memorial Walley Fishing Tournament.”

The trio set out for the 5-hour tournament to try their luck at catching a stringer-full of walleyes. After several hours, the outlook was bleak, so, they decided to try a different location; trading valuable minutes in the water for, hopefully, hungrier walleye. With just 30 minutes remaining in the tournament, the team decided to start pulling crankbaits.

Shortly after dropping in the water, Ledger’s pole showed signs of a bite. Quickly (and excitedly) he rushed to set the hook and start reeling. The large northern pike splashed out of the water, and the 4-year-old’s eyes lit up. He started talking about how he wanted to make the fish into “meatballs” or “soup” and he couldn’t wait to “eat this baby.” It took the trash-talking child about 10 minutes to reel “in this baby” before his dad could grab it out of the water and get the beast onto a stringer.

The excitement was infectious, and cheering could be heard from miles away. It was a pretty big fish for such a small guy, measuring 42 inches long and 18 1/2 pounds.


When asked about his fish, Ledger enthusiastically replied “It was so big that I could barely get it in the boat. My dad had to reach down and grab it, right out of the water!” You can say that big fish has now got the young fisherman “hooked.”


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Ledger is now "hooked" for life.

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