Back in '66 Rod and I didn't know there were even fish in the lake. Rod figured there must be and even suspected East Pike was a secret well kept by the locals. Rod also figured the north woods boys were keeping a good thing quiet so no city yahoos like the two of us would work our way there, have a great time, spill the beans to the rest of the world and ruin a perfectly good lake.
As it turned out the smallies took us completely by surprise. That they were big and frisky was just icing on the cake. That the lake was named after a pike and only seemed to hold bass had us scratching our heads. But, what the hell, we didn't care what the lake was called just so long as the fishing was good. Forty-seven years later I feel about the same.
These days, and most likely back in '66, turns out there are some fine northern pike in East Pike Lake. Probably were back when the lake was named. The DNR says they average about five pounds. From what we've seen on the ends of our lines over the years, that number is on the money. One of the state's nettings a few years back pulled in one over twenty pounds. That's a good sized pike by most measures.
Then there's the muskies. Only two lakes in the BWCA have them and like all muskies, they grow to huge sizes. But, if you happen to be reading this, don't go tellin' anyone unless they promise to use only big honkin' musky lures on East Pike. Don't want to have them find our how good the bass fishin' is and then return year after year. I may never make it back but I'd sure like to find a few of them still there so as to fly rod some of the fighingest fish in the north woods.