Fish “TV”, The Pike Channel
It’s Chuck bringing you a report and a meager ice fishing tip. I’m coming to you from the frigid and frozen waters of the Pend Oreille River. The fishing is pretty dead, pretty cold, pretty windy, and I’m getting bored. So I drop the underwater camera down, to view the smelt, my bait of the day. What seemed to be a cold and dead water world came alive. There were perch swimming everywhere. Three big bass come by....yuk. Then a nice pike cruises by a mere 2 feet away. No perch on screen for 10 minutes. Surprised? Nope! Then my picture on the screen began careening wildly......a jaw appears, an eye, white spots on a dark green background. So close, you could count those spots. The big olive devil bit my camera pod! I should hang a hook on it! Had a flag and 15 foot run; let him run....stops...starts again; missed him. Repeat....same procedure; have him on for a few seconds and gone!
Four other anglers entertain ourselves watching the fish come and go. One guy said “I’d rather do this than fish”. One hour before sunset the pike are moving steadily across the screen. Watch one mouth the smelt and drop it. They don’t attack, just nose it a little, taking it a foot and dropping it. A big pike comes straight at the screen like he’s attacking the pod. One fisherman yells, “look at that! Wow!” The big pike turns back to the smelt, gently puts it in his mouth, like a mother robin carrying her chick, and slowly swims off. I look at the tip up 5 feet away and it pops up. Cool. This time none of that double stop stuff. The shaft is moving, I immediately set the hook. Oh…, it’s heavy. He takes an uncharacteristic wintertime 4 runs away from the hole; finger tips acting like a drag. Finally out she comes. Everyone hollers, “Wow”. At 9 1/2 lbs. she’s a beautiful, healthy, fat gal. Sorry I didn’t think to measure length. The Minnesota in me, ya know. Got some pics. Yep, must be over 30 inches, so down the hole she goes. The Kalispels would be proud!!!
As Babe Winkleman always says, “there ain’t nothing like big pike fishing, nothing like it!!”