Jim Shiely of Prescott sent the following story and photos:
I caught this Northern Pike on the St. Croix River the morning of October 19th. I was alone in the boat with no net. It was quite a fight on a light spinning rod with open-faced reel. I usually release all fish I catch, including walleyes, but this one was not going to make it.
Scott Miller, a Prescott taxidermist, met me at the courtesy dock in Prescott to help me with the fish. At his shop he measured it at 44 inches and weighed it at 24 pounds. He has 42 years of experience as a taxidermist, 27 of those in Prescott. He said it’s the largest Northern Pike he’s ever seen taken out of the St. Croix River. He said you might catch a fish like this in northern Canada or, occasionally on the US- Canadian border.
I would guess it took 20 to 25 minutes to land the fish. It took a number of major runs and I couldn’t horse it with my light tackle. I was fishing for smallies. It had to be played out because I couldn’t get a hold of it reaching over the side of the boat. (Our boat is an inboard-outboard that holds 10 people and it sits up relatively high in the water.) I had to get on the swim board in the back, get a purchase on a gill and slide it out and over the top of the back of the boat and onto the floor.