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Mark Knapp

My Birthday Pike

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My Birthday was on Saturday and as some of you know I was planning on isolating myself, on a lake near by, for a day of ice fishing for for pike. As most of my plans do, this one fell through too, but this one for the better.  My cousin Dianna called me on Friday night to invite me on a fly out-trip fishing trip for pike with her and her boyfriend Eric. Instead of going fishing I spent Saturday straitening gear from a winter of ice fishing and getting ready for the trip on Sunday.

I met Eric and Dianna at Eric's place Sunday morning, we loaded his Cessna 170 with gear and lunch for the day and flew to an un-named lake about an hour from Fairbanks in the Minto Flats north and west from Fairbanks. Minto Flats is known to have lots of lakes with lots of pike and many pike over 40 inches long. A forty inch pike is a lot like a 30 inch rainbow or a 20 inch bass, but even if you know they are there, it's a rare thing and very a special thing to catch one.

We landed on the lake around ten thirty in the morning and began drilling holes and setting tip-ups. After we had set a tip-up for each of us we drilled more holes and began jigging, covering large portions of the lake in order to find fish.

The morning started out slow with only a fish or two in the first couple of hours but we continued drilling holes and moving around the lake in search of fish. After four hours I came upon a spot that had promise. I was catching a fish every half hour or so, it was windy but the sun was warming things up enough to keep the holes from freezing up.

I was sitting on my bucket, back to the wind, face in the sun and kind dozing off a little with my hands in auto-jig mode when I got a really good hit, I set the hook and could tell it was a pretty nice fish. I fought it for a about ten minutes, as it made four big runs and finally got it to the hole. It touched on both sides of the eight inch hole as it came out.

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My Birthday pike coming out of the water. A forty inch plus fish.

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We didn't have a tape measure or a scale but we rough measured it to about 42 inches and 22 pounds.

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We let some smaller fish and the big one go. Here are the ones we kept for eating.

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Dianna and Eric reflecting after a really nice day on the ice.

 

 

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Nice! God those are big

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Great storytelling too,  but the Pike are..... vocabulary freeze here 

The pike are incredibly healthy and husky lookers

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Mark, excellent birthday it seems. Nice fish, beautiful day. Can't ask for much more. Enjoy many happy more!

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First woolly mammoth hair, now monster fish. 

Great job Mark, and happy birthday old boy.  

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20 minutes ago, Mark Knapp said:

Thanks guys, It certainly has been one of my best ever.

Do I foresee a recipe thread on the horizon? That is good pile of eatin sized

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