Northern Piking

Pike

June 2012 .  Canada  .  Saskatchewan

Martin Sack

The idea was a journey back to my roots, but far away to exotic waters. After many weeks pike fishing in the Schären of Sweden and German Bodden I planned for two years a spin fishing tour into the wilderness of Canada. In pursuit of the place with the most and biggest northern pikes of the world. With the claim to catch them in shallow clear water and to angle far away from overcrowded waters.

By my side was Mario: Pikepearch-maniac, pike greenhorn but above all enthusiastic spin fisher. Then the adventure arrival started:  Three flights, duty control, delays, seven hours drive with our rental car also through muddy ways and a boat trip to our starting point somewhere in nowhere. 35 hours later we arrived at our lodge, packed our fishing tackle together and drove into a landscape of water and thousand islands, shrouded in fog banks. My first cast with the jerk bait was rewarded with a pike of 91cm, the second with 106cm. We completed the first day after fife hours with 69 northerns!

The next day followed rainy cold weather and we had to search the pikes again. We tried all the time parallel different lures and strategies of bait running.

When it was time to search or to fish in deeper water we caught the most fish with rubber shads and twisters and the sinking Zam. The structures from bay to bay always changed and these lures we could use very flexible from 0,5-2m running depth. Sometimes the lagoons were rocky to sandy, then muddy with brown bottom and swampy vegetation and at other places riddled with dead trees. Mostly the water was very clear, but in the backmost parts of the bays also translucent brown. So we used again and again also at sunny days flashy colours and sometimes pale fluorescent lures were not to beat.

When we had found the pikes or fished over snags at the surface, it was the time for shallow running Buster Jerks and Zalts. With that lures we could play long enough at one spot to convince the northerns coming out of their ambushes and start a hard attack direct at the surface. After some days we had in every situation a good feeling which angling strategy was the best – the pure variety!

The many live-attacks, takes and fights in the clear water made the fishing very funny and entertaining. Two times three pikes at one time approached my lure from different directions. Another time I hooked a smaller northern with the first treble hook of my shad while a bigger one wanted to steel the bait. The smaller pike was afraid to become the prey and was in panic. I had nearly caught two pikes with one bait! The performance was ended not until Mario immerged his lure for some seconds under water… one of hundreds of takes at sight, among some trophy’s direct next to the boat!

Butt he pikes were not every time in feeding mood –at some days especially the big ones were quite capricious. We could witness how to convince followers to attack our lures by the right lure – or sometimes even absolutely not. Normally we could not encourage pikes roused by our boat to attack our baits. Also the fishes spawning later because of the cold weather. Many northern had still bite marks at their back.

At good days the pikes were in average bigger, at worse a bit smaller. However, at this time here it was nearly not possible to catch less than 50 northerns per two persons and day. As we accomplished the first time 100 pikes we stopped our fishing day – only to beat this result with 107 northerns some days later! Other very memorable moments were fife casts at the same spot – they convinced four trophy’s for a short photo shooting!

The landscape of Saskatchewan impressed with many beautiful faces and endless wideness of waters, swamps, woods, islands, reeves and rivers. We never saw signs of human acting at our boat trips – no cottages, no electricity lines, no felled trees, no roads. We angled sometimes at places where nobody fished before us this year. And with lures which as good as no pike here had ever seen. Unbelievable: The other anglers fished here almost all the time with spoons or the fly rod, our lure box was nearly unknown.

Among the northern’s you could catch here oodles of walleyes and see trouts. Some of them attacked our artificial baits as by-catch.

We accomplished our tour with unbelievable 911 fishes. Unfortunately we could not outwit the really big girl, but we are sure to have here every time a realistic chance to catch a pike more than 1,30m. So we have another challenge for the future and we will surely come back to these waters!

Citation Marios mail one day after homecoming: „Damn, was that a cool trip. I still can´t beliefe it!“ k

Statistic

Angler: Mario, Martin

Pikes: 894

Pikes more than 100cm: 12

Sea Trouts: 15 (around 60cm)

Walleyes: 2 (up to 69cm)

1.Day:69                                                                                                                 106 – 97 – 95 – 92 – 91 – …

2.Day:53                                                                                                                                                                                 85 – …

3.Day:33                                                                                                                                                                               102 – 87 – …

4.Day:55                                                                                                                                                                                 97 – 91 – 90 – …

5.Day:50                                                                                                                                                                                 88 – …

6.Day:59                                                                                                                                                                               103 – 96 – 92 – 90 – …

7.Day:100                                                                                                                                                                             102 – 92 – 92 – 91 – 90 – 90 – …    

8.Day:81                                                                                                                                                             101–97–96-…        

9.Day:75                                                                                                                                                                                 95 – 90 – …

10.Day:83                                                                                                                                                                               97 – 94 – 92 – 91 – 90 – …                                               

11.Day:107                                                                                                                                                                            106 103 102 101 - 90 – 90 – …     

12.Day:79                                                                                                                                                                              101 96 – 96 – 94 – 92 – …

13.Day:50                                                                                                                                                                105100-…