During spring 2017, I traveled to Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge in Manitoba and witnessed an innovative technique for catching monster northern pike. (Click here to read my detailed article explaining this effective system. I also caught a 47-incher a few hours prior to the pike featured in this video!)
As you’ll see in the clip below, guide Austin Los uses an inline planer board to position dead ciscoes away from the boat, and the results are amazing. Watch carefully to see how the pike pulls the planer board beneath the surface.
One of the keys to success is making sure that the boat is on the correct side of the planer board so the angler can get a good hookset. There isn’t a lot of line out, so you don’t have to go overboard on the hookset; just a solid, sideways sweep-set is really all that’s needed. And it’s best to have the drag set tight enough on the baitcasting reel for a good hookset, but not so tight that the fish can’t strip off some line during the battle.
And here’s something I learned from Austin: These big pike won’t drop the cisco if the boat is nearby. Prior to hookset, Austin moved the boat closer to the planer board with aid of the trolling motor to minimize the amount of line from rod to pike. That way, the fight is likely to be shorter, which reduces the stress on the fish. As you’ll see, I don’t fight the fish for long; we get the big girl in the net as soon as possible.
Check out the girth on this 45-inch pike; Austin estimates the fish weighed 25 pounds. (Austin uses wet towels on the floor of his boat to ensure a pike’s protective slime layer remains intact while he measures fish.)
The pike swims away under full power, ready to be caught again.
Author’s note: Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge is one of many outstanding fishing destinations in Manitoba. In fact, I plan to check out another spot early next week — I’ll be fishing for 2 days with my two sons and my dad for huge channel catfish on the Red River near Winnipeg. My guide for that trip will be Donovan Pearase of Blackwater Cats. Be sure to stay tuned to OutdoorHub for my report; I can’t wait!