Pike fishing is fun and readily available

Trout and salmon are often said to be the targets of the "elite" anglers, while bass is the choice of the majority of anglers. There's also a large following that prefer to target walleye. Although this writer is pretty much satisfied to catch whatever fish takes a liking to his offering, a fish not many bother with rates right up there with the favorites. That fish is the northern pike.

Dedicated bass and trout anglers, as well as the walleye chasers, would have you believe that catching a pike while in pursuit of their primary quarry is akin to finding a piece of coal in their stocking on Christmas morning. But I've been with several of these anglers when they tied into a good-size pike while fishing for their favored species. If they were disgusted, they sure didn't exhibit it. As their rod bucked and bent, and the reel's drag screamed as the fish tore line from it, it sure looked to me like they were enjoying it. Only when (or if) the pike was landed did they remember to voice their distain over it not being a bass, walleye, trout, salmon or whatever.

I guess my fascination and enjoyment for pike fishing dates back to my childhood, when pike was the mystical fish of the north country wilderness, and none of our local waters held any. I'd drool over photos in outdoor magazines, showing anglers hoisting huge pike they'd caught from some far away lake in Canada or the Adirondacks. Best I could hope for in the waters I fished was a two-foot-long pickerel or a brook trout half that length. My dreams finally became reality when I was fourteen and made a two-week camping trip to Saranac Lake. There I caught several pike, including one 34 inches long ... a monster! Since then I've never complained when I felt the savage strike and raw power of a pike on the end of my line.

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