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Huge pike, good friends, lasting memories My good buddy, Mike, and I have had

many fishing adventures together and he always catches the biggest fish. I may catch more fish at times, but he always catches the biggest fish. Last summer we took a trip to an isolated

river in northern Quebec, with six people, all avid campers, paddlers and fishermen. It was a trip of a lifetime. We had more than 200 km. to paddle

in total. We kept a slow-to-moderate pace, allowing us to fish as we travelled. What I looked forward to most about this

trip was the opportunity to catch some large pike. For the first half of the trip we caught lots and lots of small two-to-three-pound pike. It became frustrating, and I even said I was giving up on pike at one point. Three minutes after I said that, things

started to get interesting. Landing a large pike in a fully loaded

canoe can be difficult. There is no room to bring in a huge musky-sized net. I landed a pike in the 12-pound range. I caught it on a large flat about two- to three-ft. deep with a sandy bottom and weeds. I caught many

more on the flat,

but they were small again. Just as we

were thinking of continuing our journey


heard screaming from one of the other canoes. “Reed has a huge pike!” So we zipped over to help land the beast.

The battle between fisherman and fish reached epic rod-breaking proportions... literally. It took a run under the canoe and the rod broke as soon as it touched the gunwale. Once landed (for the second time, as it escaped the first time) we made the short paddle to shore for pictures and measurements. The pike was 45 inches long. I opened my tackle box and pulled out

the largest lure I had with me, a Storm Giant ThunderStick. Mike put on a chartreuse Panther Martin bucktail spinner. We paddled out to the drop off, got set up and started our troll. As soon as we got the troll line exactly where we wanted, both rods doubled over. The timing was so perfect we both assumed we had snagged on something. “I’m on bottom!” I said. “Me too!” Mike said. “Wait,” I said. “I think it’s moving!” “Not mine,” said Mike. “Definitely

bottom. Wait… I think it’s moving, too!” There were several seconds of confusion

at this point. What was going on? Did our lines tangle? Did one pike grab both lures? I have heard of that happening. Soon both fish started fighting and taking

huge runs. We had a double-header to end all double-headers... and in a freakin’ fully loaded canoe, too. What were we going to do? I caught a

glimpse of my fish. “It’s HHHHHUUUUGE!” I yelled.

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