2012... The Rest of the Story
The good Doctor Latall in Chicago reminded me that I needed to update this. Thanks, Dr. John! Here goes….
In early July, Mary and I headed to Lac La Martre in the Northwest Territories. This was not a new destination for either one of us as I was here last year with Pete Maina filming his TV show The Next Bite. Also, Mary and I first visited here in 2002. It was on that trip that Mary caught what is still the All Tackle Blue/Silver Pike registered with the Fishing Hall of Fame in Wisconsin.
Fishing in Lac La Martre is an exciting visual affair. The water in some of those bays is as clear as what comes out of my kitchen faucet. This is sight fishing at its finest, and we saw a lot of pike. It’s pretty cool to watch pike shoot forward 40 feet like a guided missile and hit your lure.
Fishing there this time, it was as we remembered. We got to see lots of pike and caught quite a few. The lake trout fishing was also good and Mary caught her biggest yet, a 25 pounder. If you ever visit a camp that includes lake trout fishing, you owe it to yourself to give these guys a shot. Hooking into a big laker is akin to hooking up with a Peterbuilt truck! They’ll really stretch your string!
In August, it was Elk Island Lodge in Manitoba. This was a new one for me. My goal for this trip was to put my partner, Robert Howe, on a big pike. Robert’s dad, Robbie, is a close friend of mine. The trip went well and Robert did catch a good pike that qualified for a Manitoba Master Angler Award. So, that went pretty well.
Guide Barry hosts Robert Howe's Manitoba Master Angler pike.
In September, Mary and I took our last trip of the season and what a special one it turned out to be. We went back to an old favorite, the Taltson River, where every trip is special. But this time it turned out to be one of the best trips we’ve ever taken. One extra special aspect was that we were joined by two old friends we don’t get to see often.
Our group of dedicated pikers.
Mark Macauley from Michigan and Peter Graff from Pennsylvania are two dedicated pikers who I met many years ago on the pike trail. Both of these guys have fished all over the place and are veterans of the pike game. Peter Graff is, in my mind, one of the Grand Masters of pike fishing today. At 85 years young, Pete has been chasing the gators for well over 50 years, and is still going strong!
Peter Graff, one of the very few Grand Masters of pike fishing.
Mark is simply one of the best pike fishermen I’ve ever met and he really showed it on this outing.
Mark Macauley, one of the best!
Whitefish run up this river (and all rivers where they’re present) in the fall, and the pike have a heyday with them. Our best lure for this trip was a Shumway Hot Head. Bruce Shumway (great guy!) calls it a jig on his website, but it has the classic spinnerbait rig and blade on it so I’ll refer to it as a spinnerbait. The pike loved it and we caught a lot of big pike with it. Mark Macauley had a Bondy Bait and he cleaned up on them with it.
A nice double caught by Mary and I on Shumway Hot Heads.
Here's a full-grown specimen caught on one of Bruce Shumway's Hot Head lures.
All told, the 4 of us caught around sixty pike over 20 pounds during the week. Yes, you read that right. I said sixty (60) pike over 20 lbs for 4 people in one week! If you know anywhere on the planet we can duplicate this, please let me know!
Stay tuned, 2013 has now begun!