• Thor Skoe

Take it from me

5 Tip-Up Lessons From a Mediocre Angler

I may be named after the Norwegian god of thunder, but I have always been pulled to the water. From a young age I spent every minute that I could swimming, fishing, and playing in the lakes surrounding Park Rapids, MN. My grandparents introduced me to fishing to help me burn off the extra energy that I had, and to teach me to be patient. I would spend hours standing at the end of their dock catching Bluegills and the occasional Large Mouth Bass. I have had the opportunity through Fish Addictions to fish in everyway that I have wanted to, from Saltwater to Freshwater, the Canadian Wilderness to downtown Minneapolis, the plains of North Dakota and the mountains of Colorado.

Catching big Pike has always been a dream of mine, something that I have spent countless hours doing and never been successful at. That all changed last week when I got the chance to experience March Madness on Lake of the Woods, MN. In four days, I caught 4 new personal best Pike. Some may say that it may have been the result of beginner’s luck, but I like to think that my success was a reward for being a student of fishing. I have spent days studying fish in the boat, online, and through talking with other anglers. I want to share with you some of the things that I learned on my first BIG PIKE TRIP.

1) Give yourself the advantage.

a. With the technological changes that have been made in fishing it doesn’t make sense to not use them. Study the lake you are going to online before your trip, use a GPS to put yourself on the best spot. Invest in a system such as the Vulture system to alert you.

2) Find a pattern.

a. When we got to the lake, we started by running 4 different types of bait (smelt, alewives, live suckers, and herring) at varying depths in the water column. As the week progressed, we found that the big fish preferred dead bait during the day and live bait at night, so we adjusted our strategy.

3) Be Prepared.

a. This goes hand in hand with giving yourself the advantage but goes beyond an angling advantage. Make sure you plan for downtime while tip-up fishing. Thankfully our group has a few phenomenal cooks who made us eggs, bacon, venison, and fresh fish daily to keep our energy up.

4) Have fun.

a. In 2021 the point of fishing goes way beyond our need for food. We are doing this because we enjoy it! It feels great to catch the biggest fish, and it’s okay to be excited about that, but don’t give your buddy to much flak for only catching little fish. After all it’s tip-up fishing a lot of it comes down to luck of the draw.

5) Keep the Fish Gods happy.

a. Now you may not believe in the Fish Gods or be superstitious but I am. If I find something that is appeasing the Fish Gods be it making sure that you sneak some of your favorite snack into the lake for them, or honor them with a swig of your favorite beverage to keep them on your side. Make sure the Fish Gods are happy!

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