Wranglin` on the Passaic River – Pike Time!

Sunday was a special day indeed. See it was my first time taking the `Yak back out on the Passaic River to have a go at some Northern Pike. I had only planned going for a few hours in the afternoon, as the forecast was calling for heavier rain that evening. I sent my now ritual text to Sharon, letting her know where I was fishing……… well……sort of. I sent the text saying I was going out to wet a line for a few hours and she wrote back asking where exactly. I reluctantly texted, “After Pike” – She; “You`re not going to the Passaic are you?” I said, “Yep….. I am and I`ll be very careful where I go”
She knows I like going into really difficult spots with the `Yak and all, and was concerned about launching in the river for the first time since my heart attack. The Doc said I can carry the `Yak for a short distance and that`s exactly what I had planned that afternoon. This will be a cinch, I said to myself as I loaded up the `Yak and made my way to the murky river.  
Arriving at the spot that I had planned to fish, I eagerly carried the `Yak a very short distance to the water`s edge.I then loaded up my poles and gear, parked the truck and jumped in my `Yak and was on my way! 
As I paddled my way upstream, I began making some short casts around the debris that was protruding at various spots along the river`s course. Eventually I paddled up to a couple very large blown-down trees that had the river blocked at one point. Rather than get out and drag the `Yak around the dead trees on land, I decided to beach the `Yak and have at it on foot first. So I climbed out, grabbed my lure bag, both poles and made my way into the brush to get around the fallen trees. 
Worked my way to this deep-looking pool that had more than ample brush and debris laying along the bank on the other side. An area that looked absolutely like a Pike`s haven, I thought to myself. I began working my Chartreuse spinner-bait on the edge of the brush line. On my third cast…… BAM! Fish on! Not big by any means though. A small Pickerel had jumped on…………. And this was by all means a sick fish. The young Esox literally had some sort of sores all over it`s belly and sides. I have seen fish with a fungi on occasion, but never one that had any sort of actual sores on it.  
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I could see that several of these sores were open and actually bleeding as I examined this fish.
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Rather than put it back in the river, where it may cause other fish to become sick, I decided to dispose of of it and bury it so other animals couldn`t eat the apparent diseased fish. After digging a fairly deep hole with a make-shift trowel I made from heavy branches, I quickly buried the fish and put a log on top of it`s muddy grave. 
Still on foot, working my way further upstream, I came upon another really nice hole that had a lot of “Pike-Appeal” – As I tossed the spinner-bait into the murky waters, I saw a familiar swirl just a few feet from where my lure had landed. I knew that swirl all too well as I made another cast into that area. 
BAM! Pike on! 
After a short tussle, I had wrangled up my first Northern Pike since suffering a  heart attack this past July.
After a little fun-photo session, it was time to get back to the `Yak. 
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I promptly worked my way down-stream as it was getting later in the afternoon now and I wanted to take advantage of what daylight that was left.
I paddled approximately a mile or so down-river and began working that trusty spinner-bait at every imaginable angle possible. Covering as much of the debris and blow-downs as possible that I drifted by. 
And yes………. I did have the Go PRO that day as quite a few of you have asked me that question in the various places/forums that I posted pictures of that day`s adventure on the Passaic. 
So without further ado……… Crank up those speakers, grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the show!
Caught a couple Pike…….. Back in my `Yak…….. An all around really great day.

(Even though that big `ol Pike slapped my in the face with his muddy-ass tail! HaHa!) 
And an even better day to be alive to talk about it.
Till next time…..
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