Does lightning ever strike the same place twice? Can two pike of exactly the same size in two separate lakes ever be caught on the same day exactly a year apart? How lucky or good can one angler be? These are questions as deep as our northern lakes, but one would have to ask Joe Novicki. He has the answers. And they are all “yes”. In June of 2016 on Joe’s 33rd trip to Scott Lake Lodge since 1997, he set the bar for big pike at Scott Lake Lodge with an impressive 51 incher. In June of 2017 on his 34th trip, he put the bar right back there by landing an even heavier 51” pike, the kind with big shoulders. And the same day he put three more trophy notches in a belt that now has more notches than leather. And again his long suffering fishing partner, Bill Calabresa, got to play cameraman for the second straight year. (Joe got even but we’ll get to that later.) It’s a great fish story and many others were written during our fourth week of the season. Jim MacDougall used his fly rod like a magic wand to bring pike of 48,45,44,44,41 and 40” under his spell. Then on bait casting gear added lake trout of 36 and 37”. Allen Wortz Jr. got in the big pike game, landing a 47 and a pair of 45s. His fishing partner, Craig Mataczynski, joined the fun with a 45 and three others over 40”. On his first ever Canadian fishing trip Joey Manship brought five trophy pike to the boat. His dad, Mike, contributed two more. Judy and Conrad Schmidt, on their 33rd trip, teamed up for five trophy pike. So for some more southern fishing lodges these numbers might add up to a pretty damn good season. For lodges in our neighborhood, that might constitute a solid week. Here at Scott Lake Lodge all of that happened in JUST ONE DAY, the first day this group hit the water. Yes ONE DAY.
Well, we cheated. We had a day of beautiful sunshine and just the right winds. Sun is the secret sauce for pike fishing. And this group got lucky. We had sun most of the time for all five days of their trip and the fishing reflected it. Our guides and anglers did have to contend with some vicious east winds that made travel by boat a bit more of an adventure than most people enjoy, but the fishing more than made up for it. The big fish just kept on rolling in. Connor Dannewitz hit the big time with a 48” pike adding a 45” and a 42” to the day. His dad, Chuck, got four trophy pike that day as well. After their big day on Day 1 of their trip the Manship duo, Mike and Joey, together landed nine trophy pike in a single day. Phil Robers and Andre Lechowicz each had a four- trophy pike outing.
Our old friends Bill Calabresa and Joe Novicki were in camp for ten days and never took their feet off the gas pedal. Every year they are gunning for the 100+Club jacket. After Bill got his massive 45.5” lake trout, he got serious about pike and grayling. Then Joe got the 51” pike and put himself in a good position for a run. Both got big grayling but Joe couldn’t put up a big trout number. So on the last day Bill bags a 46” pike to give him a huge total—109.5 inches, a number that will be tough to beat. Joe ended his quest at 106.5”, a very healthy number. Both will proudly wear their jackets. Jim MacDougall also joined the Club, getting 102.5 total inches. Steve Doerter ended his trip with a big fish, a fat 40” lake trout. The best part about this week: everyone got into the trophy game. All 26 anglers in camp got a trophy pike pin. A grand total of 137 trophy fish were caught, 122 of them pike, on this windy but sunny week. Want to have the same kind of fishing on a trip next year? Just pick a week with five straight sunny days. Any week of our season could be the very best or the most challenging of the season. So just come up whenever you can.