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01

Pike, Thy, Sting.
I’m encased in warmth, shrouded in darkness, and below me water shines softly translucent green. Dangling two feet below the ice decoying for all its worth is a perch colored stick bait.

I have chased two hammer handle sized northern’s away more than once so far this morning. They ghost in, applying water brakes with barely perceptible fins, then gill flair. These small northern’s are possibly dense, unsure or curious. Its action, but frustrating.

Northern Pike SpearingAfter awhile I get lulled into a stupor. The stove hisses. Its dark and I get drowsy. My five tined spear tips keep grabbing my focus and I should be staring at the chopped holes fringes. The brilliant filed silver sharpness is a color contrast as it crawls up the individual tangs and ends in the black iron and dark shelter.

With a heart start, I have one drifting into the hole and before he can strike the bait I pierce him trident style just back of the narrows of its gills. Its buck fever in my hands. The northern of close to six pounds shakes and shudders. The spear weight and the thrashing fish are hand over hand tethered back into the shack by my white rope.

Throwing open the shack door I’m snow blind. The brilliance of the daylight and hours of darkness sting my pupils and I squint to stop the eye pain. During recovery I shake the big pike loose. Its green on white snow with red blood splotches as the fish rolls its self into a large sugar coated looking fish donut.

Thirty feet away small smoke wisps are coming from my buddies shack. He will never ask me what I got, so in major actor mode I yell to tell him a just got a twenty pounder. His door flies open and the eye circus gets repeated on his face. Then he comes stumbling to see my fish.

It’s good his spear is still in his shack.

We get back inside our respective shacks and I hit another one in less than fifteen minutes. He slid in from the far side, as he was half turned thrusting to strike, I frog forked him back farther than I’d like but it’s a four pound keeper. Nailing the fish back in the prime of the fillet is more common for me with cold shaky hands, but I’m getting better.

I open the door; slam my eyes shut and wait for the pain to ease form my head. The eye sting must be close to the tines hitting the northern pike. I get them, the light gets me. Mike has one lying on the snow, so after I get mine off the tangs I go check his out.
I did not hit mine as far back as he did. I yell through the door, “Did ya take that one as it was swimming away”?

Mike said he felt roused at the sight of the pike, then stunned, the fish was aquarium style ascending so he could not move, he got a rolled eye from the pike, full spear into it as the fish was melting away head first. Said he was lucky to get it at all.

All the fish came through in the same few minutes. Underwater it must have looked like a street gang cruising. I pack up with two, and call it a day. 11 below back to the blazer. The snow is so bright. When I hit the key, mikes shack door flies open and he does the eye thing, then flips off a nice fish I guess at around five pounds. I beep, he waves. My truck is thawing. It’s starting to feel warm again, only with the lights on.

The trout whisperer


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Monica
# Monica
Sunday, February 3, 2008 4:08 PM
I've never speared a fish, or even tried. But I've eaten northerns, and they're the best. After reading this, my fingers are frozen, my nose is cold--and my stomach is growling!

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