I Should Have Brought a Net

By Karen Baker

In mid-August, Chad and I went to visit our daughter in Minnesota and made plans to spend a few days at a lovely B&B in Ely, Minnesota, on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, part of the Superior National Forest. This area is famous for its beauty, wildlife, and fishing. NOT fly fishing, though. I did not bring any equipment with me so I went down to Arrowhead Tackle Shop, one of the many tackle shops in Ely, to get information. I told the nice guy at the counter that I was a fly fisher and totally ignorant about spin casting but wanted to give it a try.

Karen on Farm Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota

So he fixed me up with a starter rod and tackle box set for $35! Can’t beat that! It was probably a kids set, but I was OK with that. I told him I wanted to fish for bass and he said that kit should do the trick, but I might get a Northern Pike. OK, I say, I need a license, too. I pay and happily head out.
We take the kayaks and head out to try my luck on Farm Lake. My first cast, using a Muskie/Pike No Roll Spinnerbait from the dock, gets stuck on a lily and Chad kayaked out and got it loose for me. We head out onto the lake and, after several attempts, finally I get the hang of it and have some good casts along the shore in between the lily pads and the wild rice.

To my great surprise I had a hard strike and the rod bent almost in half as I reeled it in. It was a Northern Pike about 16 inches or so and really gave me a fight. I got it to the kayak and about to get a picture when it flipped itself off the hook (which I had flattened). If I had a net I would have been able to grab it for a picture. So you will have to take my word for it that I caught a beautiful Northern Pike on a spin rod on the Boundary Waters.

The take away message is have a net with you!