Charlie Allen recently laid claim to a trophy few are able to boast. The 16-year-old LUHS student hauled in a Northwoods pike over 40 inches in length.
Charlie was fishing with his dad, Chuck Allen, his grandpa Rodger Allen, his Uncle Wayne Allen and cousin Zach Allen when the beautiful northern was landed. The fish was caught “in the Northwoods area,” Charlie said. And it was caught using his own creation.
“My dad gave me these old Beaver Dam-style tip-ups from a friend of his and these tip-ups came from old fishing guides ... really old-time fishing guides,” Charlie explained. “So, I took the metal parts off them and made my own base that looks like a walleye and painted it and put the metal parts on it.”
The group was rigged for walleyes and northerns Feb. 9, the day the big pike would make its appearance.
“We just kind of put tip-ups out for everything,” Charlie said. “Mine was set up for northerns, but it did not have a wire leader – it had FireLine on it.”
The FireLine was up to the task as it would turn out. The boss pike hit about 3:30 p.m.
“The tournament I was in ended at three o’clock,” Charlie recalled. “So we decided we would just keep fishing for a while, because we didn’t catch much.”
The crew was just about to get ready to leave when Charlie got a flag.
“It was interesting because I walked up to the tip-up and normally, with a northern, they’re pretty energetic and the top is spinning,” Charlie said. “Well, when I walked up to this one it was just sitting still, completely.”
He approached the tip-up and pulled it up. The fish took off.
“I set the hook and started pulling the fish up and then it started peeling line out, so I just let it go because I didn’t want to break the line,” Charlie said.
Shortly, he recalled something pertinent to the situation.
“I forgot that the other night my dad and I rigged up my tip-up with fishing line and we used what was left of it, so it only had like a quarter of a spool on it,” Charlie said. “So, immediately I heard my tip-up go ‘boing’ and the line went taut and it spooled us, but it didn’t break.”
Charlie began pulling line in again, trying to gain on the running fish. He’d get some line in, then the fish would run again, taking line. He got a look at what he was battling.
“I got it to flash by the hole right when my dad got there,” Charlie said. “He kept asking me if it was a muskie or northern and I told him it was a northern – a huge one ... He saw it the second time it flashed by the hole and then took off again.”
The battle raged for a while longer, but Charlie was finally able to somewhat subdue the big pike.
“When I finally got it up to the hole it was just sitting there idle underneath the hole,” he said. “I had to kind of wedge its head underneath so we could get it up. And when I finally got it up a little bit, my dad grabbed the gills and pulled it out of the hole. Then everyone started screaming – everyone was all happy.”
Happy indeed. They were looking at a 17-pound, 41-inch northern pike. And the happy face of the guy that had landed it.
“My dad said, ‘You’re either going to keep it and mount it, or your going to throw it back,’” Charlie recalled.
Asked what that decision was, his answer was to-the-point.
“I’m mounting it,” he said.
Charlie realizes just what a nice fish is destined for his wall.
“I’ve talked to a few people and told them the story,” Charlie said. “A lot of them are older people that have been fishing a long time, like, for example, my dad said he’s been trying since he got back from the Marine Corps to catch something that size and he hasn’t yet.”
Good luck Dad.
Craig Turk may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.