Taking advantage of the relatively mild weather we loaded the ice fishing gear into the truck and headed east! It was our first trip back to Lake Newel this season and we (well one of us) were eager to explore a new area of the lake. As our followers will remember from our previous outings to Lake Newel… the lake never gave up anything easy.
We accessed the ice from a boat lunch at the north end of lake at Lake Newel Resort . Knowing that ice and snow conditions would allow us to safely drive on, we set our sights on a submerged hump area that topped out around 8′ and dropped off the edge into over 20 feet. This location along with a few other promising spots were entered as accurately as we could muster into our GPS, using a range of bathymetric mapping, Google Earth overlays and “gut feel”.
We set off across the lake and it wasn’t long before we were augering a few holes. We found the depths we wanted to fish and within moments, big marks were flashing on the electronics. Despite all attempts to coax these marks into taking a lure … we struggled to hook or even touch any fish. And then it happened …
Our regular readers may have detected an underlying loathing of Northern Pike by at least part of the Exploring Alberta team. It is not that they aren’t amazing fish in their own right … its just that they (particularly the smaller “hammer handles”) continually interfere in the focused pursuit for Walleye. Over the course of the hardwater season dozens and dozens of Pike will be pulled through the ice as “bi-catch”. Many are even “good” size and ne’er a smile. This created a lingering question … how big does a pike have to be to invoke a genuine smile. On this day in 2017 we finally learned the answer to that question. Really big!
This monster pike latched onto a very small (1/4 oz) PK Flutter Fish with authority and proceeded to make 4 line peeling runs under the ice before finally being hoisted out of the hole. We are embarrassed to report that even though we had a measuring tape, the length and girth on this beautiful female were not taken. It was enough at the time to gaze in wonder at the size of beast that had just been pulled from a 10″ hole. Today we can not say “boo pike”.