© 2013 Aaron Atkinson


While paddling from one fishing spot to another it’s a sound practice to let a lure drag behind the boat. It won’t always catch a fish, but not having a hook in the water never will.

We were half way through paddling back up the long rock face we’d just finished drifting across, when my rod doubled over – something had eaten the flashy yellow spinner I was trolling behind our canoe. After a short fight, Dad slipped the net underneath another scrappy, 24 inch northern pike.

As I worked to dislodge lure from fish and fish from net, the pike flopped, mouth open, in the net. Now, northern’s have a set of sharp, fish-eating teeth that would make a great white shark proud, and this spunky specimen was no exception. To my dismay when he thrashed in the net, a sharp tooth knifed into the pad of my thumb. I didn’t think much of it until scarlet droplets started sliding down the side of the canoe and into the lake. With the pike firmly secured in one hand I finally took a moment to inspect the bleeding wound on the other.

Dad: Two hours until dinner time with nothing but a crappie on the stringer. Should we keep him?

Me: I’d normally let him pass, but on account of the fact that this guy bit me and now has a taste for human flesh, I think we’d be wise to send him to the frying pan.

Dad: Fine by me. Pass him back.

Me: Gladly, not only is this quid-pro-quo, we’re also doing our part to keep the lake safe for swimming. I can’t, in good conscious, let a man-eater go free to bite some young kid or puppy.

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