|Charles Howard, 41-inch|
|Terry Leonard, 37-inch|
|Sue Nosko 39-inch|
Many long-time anglers landed their personal bests this year. I must have heard a dozen people say "Today was the best fishing day of my life." It was truly spectacular. Not only were there a lot of long pike hooked, but they were extra thick as well. Thirty-plus-inch fish liked to warp your rod. Pike anglers had a blast.
Early-on in the season we did very well on bigger lures, and by bigger I mean up to six-inch plugs like the Spro and Suick. But as summer came on the big lures faded in popularity and the regular two-inch spoons and spinners like Mepps #4 and #5 seemed to produce the best.
Throughout the year, anybody who tried top-water baits like the six-inch Zara Spook and the Live Target Walking Frog, were thrilled to find that northern pike won't hesitate to take to the air. Lots of them become completely airborne. In one case, the very first pike a dyed-in-the-wool walleye angler caught when he tentatively tried the Walking Frog was a 36-inch fish that came completely out of the water and inhaled the frog when it came back down.
Later in the summer and in the fall, buzz baits along with spoons and again, the topwater lures, provided great action.
I'll let Pete, one of our last fishermen who just had a fantastic afternoon on pike after spending days coaxing reluctant walleye to bite, sum it up: "I drove hundreds of miles and spent a thousand dollars. I don't want to sit in the boat and just do this all day (here he pretends to hold a rod in his hand and gently jig it up and down. I want action!"
He and his group tried buzz baits and spoons and soon had giant pike somersaulting through the air and doing back flips. And get this, they also caught two muskies.
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