giant northern pike

Giant Northern Pike on Tip-Ups and an In-the-Ice Livewell

This ice angler searches for giant northern pike and when he finds them, the action is double-time fast. He also shows how to drill a livewell directly into the ice.

Clayton Schick is ice fishing for giant northern pike on Last Mountain Lake in Saskatchewan. While he's familiar with the lake, he's fishing some new areas, and so he's drilling holes, looking for depth and structure, and moving, moving, moving.

Finally he finds a slow transition of five to seven feet with good weed growth. He crosses his fingers and sets his tip-ups with some big baitfish.

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Funny enough, he pulls in the one nice female pike, releases her, sets his tip-up and begins explaining the process, when the tip-up springs and another big northern is on the line. That had to take all of 30 seconds or so! "Are you kidding me?" Schick asks, astounded.

After landing that fish, he then explains how to drill a livewell directly into the ice, which is very interesting.

He drills six connecting holes adjacent to one another and not all the way through the ice. This creates a long livewell to hold large pike. He also drills one separate hole all the way through to let water into the livewell and for releasing fish back into the lake directly from the livewell.

The livewell helps with quickly and safely releasing fish after the hooks are removed, minimally exposing the fish to the frigid air when taking photos, and for the overall well being of the fish.

Schick is adamant about taking care of big fish, and he always has three tools nearby when reeling in big pike: A long needle nose pliers, wire cutters and a jaw spreader. He handles the fish while it's in the hole as long as necessary, only taking it out briefly for photographs.

Double flags from both tip-ups signal more fast and furious action. The first fish he pulls up is indeed a giant northern pike - caught on a big dead mackerel baitfish. He snips the treble hooks because the hook was in the fish's gill, lifts it for the camera and then quickly releases it.

He is pumped!

While Schick didn't have cause to use the livewell, he was able to effectively show where each of the three tools he always has with him come in handy.

It was a slow start to the day, but it sure ended up gangbusters.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

NEXT: Angler Hooks a Double Header in Action-Packed Rainbow Trout Fishing Video