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My goal was to catch my first ever northern pike. So on Monday morning, I headed up to the Canton area and checked in the hotel, changed clothes and decided to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening doing a little bit of scouting and fishing. I finally settled into a spot and the words I heard from various angles was, "You should have ben here a couple of days ago." Nevertheless, I did manage to catch a 21" bowfin on cut bluegill, not too far from the Tuscarawas.

Tuesday morning arrives and decide to canoe out of NTR Canoe Livery which is located in Bolivar. The water is moving at a pretty good clip. It isn't muddy, but it isn't clear either. A 3/8 oz. chartreuse/fire tiger spinnerbait was my weapon of choice. About an hour into my trip I get a strike and set the hook, but fail to hook the fish. I keep reeling and see a northern running down my bait. He strikes again and I miss. My spinnerbait flies out of the water. Luckily, I had the presence of mind to dangle my spinnerbait a foot from my rod tip and I dipped it into the water with the intent of doing a mini figure 8. As soon as I started, the pike struck. My dip net was tangled up, but I managed to bring the fish alongside the boat and grip it behind the head. It was 26" long and I was thrilled to catch it in such a dramatic fashion.

Two good sized smallies also pestered me as I was piking. One measured 15". The second one was close to that, and another nice smallie jumped and threw my spinnerbait.

I landed a hammer handle pike midway through the trip and later managed a 27" northern that went airborn by the boat, but failed to throw the bait. Awesome.

The next day, I was going to canoe out of Canal Fulton, but early morning rains and two school bus loads of kids scared me off. there was no way that I was going to fish with them kids being around. Eventually, I opted to go do the same canoe trip as the previous day. The water was noticeably slower and clearer. The results were not as good. @ hamer handle pike and 2 12" smallies was all I could muster. I missed a decent amount of strikes - probably smallmouth.

I really like the area and I will have to return this fall or next spring.

Special thanks to all the people on this forum that provided me with great advice. I didn't get to go to all the areas that I was advised on, but I plan to do on my return.
 

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Congrats on meeting and exceeding your goal! Thanks for sharing a great story as well as the pictures.:)
 

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Good post thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your first pike! I'm thinking about hitting the tusc up in the winter because I can't catch a steelhead to save my life so may as well try pike fishing.
 
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