© 2013 Aaron Atkinson

Dad’s Seamonster

During the warm summer months, most really big northern pike vacate the shallows and spend their time eating other fish in the vast, cool depths of the lake. We proved this to be true as we drifted our canoe over the vast windswept basin of the lake. Half way through our gusty drift I happened to glance back at Dad’s rod just as it started to flex in it’s holder. It wasn’t the kind of bogged down flex that comes from snagging a clump of coontail, it was the kind of powerful tug-tug-tug that reminded me of playing tug-of-war with Indie.

“You’ve got one!” I hollered to Dad who was face down in his tackle box.

He grabbed his rod, set the hook and said “Whoa. This is a good one.”

It wasn’t the kind of drag-zipping fight you might expect from the sea monster that had eaten his perch-colored crankbait. Instead it was like he’d hooked a water-logged stump with teeth. The fish didn’t muscle itself away from the boat, it muscled itself down.

I grabbed my paddle and rowed towards the fish, allowing Dad to gain some line on the beast. Eventually it relented enough for us to get a fleeting glimpse at it’s broad, muscular back.

“Holy cow! Did you see that fish?” Dad exclaimed.

I had, and it had seen us. Having spotted the boat, the massive pike gave one last mighty run. Dad held on and grinned. I grabbed the deep-bottomed net and moments later as Dad ran the fish broadside of the canoe it swam headfirst into the waiting mesh.

Dad set his rod in the bottom of the canoe, looked at me, then at the 40 inch fish, then back at me. Then he raised both arms in the air and yelled the only thing his gleeful mind could muster – “YAH-HOOOOO!”



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