Follow this link to check out more images in my Photo Reports

(1994) I first saw the pike early in the morning02 blekinge maraviken 20220211 1197513550
After having put a live-bait out behind the boat, I started to spin with a small plug in the shallow and clear water of the bay. My small boat drifted ever so slowly in the light breeze, and so I could fish "virgin" water in front of me in nearly all my casts. By standing on the boat's front-seat, I had a perfect view, and my polaroid sunglasses made the experience greater as nearly everything in the water was revealed to me.

Mostly, I detected the bigger fish by their shadow on the bottom. Many of the "shadows" disappeared in cloud of mud, but every now and again, one stayed, and instantly, I would try and put the small plug in front of it.

I caught a couple of smaller pike, and while I was reeling one in, I spotted a remarkably bigger shadow than the others. With shaking hands I unhooked the little pike, released it quickly, and cast out my plug again – and just then my boat was dragged away. I hadn't noticed that my live-bait was snatched up, and suddenly my boat was powered by a fish - away from the big shadow, to my utter desperation.

I managed to hook myself several times, trying to unhook the pike, that had taken the live-bait. I hardly noticed the size of this fish, but I guess it weighed around 7 lbs – a nice fish – but I had other fish to fry.

24 blekinge maraviken 20220211 1308545941After releasing the pike quickly, I carefully paddled with an ore back to where I saw the big shadow, and fortunately the fish was still there. I used what was nearest at hand, the slightly damaged live-bait, and put it right in front of the beast. I held my breath for what seemed an eternity – it must have seemed an eternity to the live-bait aswell – but the big pike stood absolutely still and didn't take the bait. That was definitely not what I had envisaged! My frustration reached infinite heights.

The whole thing ended when the breeze pushed the boat too close to the pike, and it bolted away, leaving a long, wide cloud of mud.

John and Michael had in the meantime each hooked, fought and landed a 20 lb pike. They shouted for me to come over and watch, but I only had the monster-shadow on my mind. Sick to my stomach, I kept looking for the beast, but in vain...

We had lunch at the "little red cabin" in the big bay. Here we discussed the morning's happenings, and I only had my torn fingers to show, where they could bask in their good fish and good photos. An hour later I was back in the little bay.

The monster-shadow is back
The sun was shining from a cloudless sky, so at least that was a slight consolation. The little bay looked beautiful. The only problem was, that the breeze had picked up, so I couldn't drift slowly the way I did in the morning. I chose to station the boat by pressing the miniscule anchor into the mud with an ore, fish the reachable area through, and then move on to a new spot.06 vaestervik 20220211 1764300208

In less than an hour I caught 4 nice pike ranging from 9 to 17 lbs, and had 5 or 6 followers. I used a small, floating, yellow and green, jointed Rapala. I was slowly becoming happier about the whole thing - this was the last day of the trip, after all.

After releasing the 17 lbs pike, I moved the boat to a new position, and before I had a chance to pick up the rod, I saw a huge shadow very near the boat. It didn't bolt. I tried to move carefully and slowly towards my rod, as not to scare the fish off. Of course, I couldn't know whether this was the same fish as I had seen in the morning, but I didn't really care, because this fish was absolutely gigantic - definitely much bigger than any pike I had ever caught before. I estimated (hoped) it weighed around 30 lbs.

I flipped the small, jointed Rapala at the fish a couple of times, but it didn't take the bait. I started to get deja-vu from the morning's events, but at least the fish stayed very near even though the boat had moved a little sideways due to the wind. I could only just make out the faint shape, when I looked again after having changed my bait to a golden Rattling Rapala. I trust this bait sometimes to trigger a fish, because it is possible to jig it, more or less.

The pike seemed to hover and move effortlessly in a semicircle near the boat - for whatever reason, is still totally beyond me - but nevertheless when I lost sight of it in a mud cloud, I obviously concluded that the game was out. It wasn't !!!

The pike had taken the Rattling Rapala and moved toward the boat, so I didn't detect the bite at first, but when the pike was close to ramming the boat it turned away at a steady pace. I only managed a feeble strike, and my heart was about to pop out of sheer excitement, when I frantically tore at the ore, that was planted deeply in the mud. The boat finally free, I kept the pressure ever so lightly on the fish, but instead of moving the fish, I literally dragged myself toward the fish. That certainly hasn't happened to me before.

After 2½ eternities, I got fairly near to the fish. It would be a lie to say, that it fought hard - it didn't. The fish stood still in a huge cloud of mud, so I really hadn't much clue about, where to try and put the big carp net. I quickly realized that I couldn't scoop up the fish, because the water was too shallow. I had to try and bring the fish to the net, cross my fingers, and hope nothing went wrong with the hooks and the net in the mud cloud.

28 blekinge maraviken 20220211 1052227523When I guessed the fish was well into the net, I slowly lifted it, and I nearly dropped everything. I only had the pike's head on the rim of the net, and the head was colossal !! Ever so carefully, I lowered the net again until it touched the bottom, leaned over the side of the boat, stuck my arm in the water, and slowly pushed the fish into the net. I know it was a gamble to push the fish, but I didn't really think at that moment.

A monster landed
Now, I had no doubt that the fish was in the net. At first I thought the net was caught on something on the bottom or the boat, though, but it was actually the sheer weight of the beast. I folded the net and left the pike in the water, holding the net with one hand, and steering the boat with the other, until I reached the bridge.

Here I sat watching the fish in the net for about half an hour, until John and Michael returned. I still hadn't any idea of the weight of the fish – only that it was way beyond 30 lbs.

When John saw the fish, he completely dropped his jaw. While Michael got his scales out, John kept running around in circles, hugging me and telling me to be calm. Anyway, we hooked the net onto the scales, and the needle wobbled between 21.2 kg (46.12) and 21.8 kg (48.01) – so we called it 21.2 kg (46.12) – that was good enough for me, no problem !

We quickly photographed and released the fish – and watched it majestically glide away, as the golden rays of the sunset coloured the beautiful little bay.

29 blekinge maraviken 20220211 1748256141

Sorry, this website uses features that your browser doesn’t support. Upgrade to a newer version of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge and you’ll be all set.