My Son’s Quest To Catch His First Northern Pike
My son loves to go fishing and is on a quest to catch his first northern pike.
I love to fish, my dad loves to fish and he and I both have been passing this down to my son.
My dad took my son Evan out bluegill fishing for his very first time around 3 or 4. At the time my son was ready to bait the hook but he already understood wanting to take some home to feed the family. He caught a big sunfish with my dad and tried to convince him to take it back to the house.
I have had my son out in the boat, onshore, and ice fishing for panfish, bass, walleye, pike, trout, and steelhead.
Unfortunately for me moving to a new area I had previously never fished, it takes some time to locate spots and have the weather cooperate when I take my son out to catch some fish.
Since most kids play video games, they tend to relate other things to gaming, even fishing. My son calls each fish a different level. He has all the species on a list he is trying to check off. I will tell you this much, he has already checked off way more variety at age 8 than I did at that same age but that also has to do with different fish being located in different parts of the state.
My son has caught all the panfish species, largemouth, and smallmouth bass, several varieties of trout but for some reason, he has not had the same luck with northern pike.
I don't know how many times we have been out trying to catch walleye and I wind up catching a pike. Or someone who is fishing with us catches a pike. The little guy wants one so bad he gets a little discouraged at times.
I usually only get my son on weekends so the weather has been a huge issue for us. There is almost always a storm front near or the weather conditions are just not right when we get time on the water for some fishing, and when it has been good, we were fishing for something else other than pike.
He has hooked some pike. We were fishing at a lake in Newaygo and he hooked a pretty good one while we were trying to catch some bass but it got off when he got it next to the boat.
This past weekend I took him to a lake that I know is full of pike. We had tip-ups set up and were fishing with ice fishing rods trying to catch some crappie. I would up catching a pike on my fishing pole and even though he was happy I caught one and got to see one up close, I could tell he really wanted to catch one of his own.
There were more people on this lake than usual and no one was catching any fish and apparently, I was the lucky one that day. A few hours into our fishing my son hooks something big. Ice fishing poles for panfish are not that big and when I say the rod was bent straight down the hole, that is exactly what was going on. I used the moment to try and coach him to let the fish take the line tiny 2lb pound test line and hopefully not cut it with the northern pike's razor-sharp teeth. I saw the fish swim by a couple of times and it was way bigger than the one I caught earlier. My son then sees it then his excitement goes to another level. I grabbed the gaff to help get the fish out of the hole but as soon as that fish hit his nose on the bottom of that ice he bolted and snapped the light line.
My son was heartbroken that he came so close to icing a really nice northern pike. He got a little frustrated from the line breaking, but when I explained to him how long he had that huge fish on that light line and told him most people would have lost that fish a lot longer ago than he did, he seemed to be a bit more comforted about the situation. He then says, after I finally catch one of these pikes, I gonna catch a big catfish, then a walleye, then a steelhead, then a salmon, and someday I gonna catch a sturgeon.
I love his attitude and his heart, and if I have anything to do with it, I hope to help him get that pike and those next levels of fish on his list.