There were 109 press releases posted in the last 24 hours and 423,718 in the last 365 days.

New state record northern pike caught in North Idaho: 40.76 pounds!

The story

Thomas Francis is an avid northern pike angler and has been for some time.

“Pike is what I go after all the time. I spend almost everyday fishing for pike. As soon as the ice is off and until it comes back,“ Francis said.

Despite being an avid pike fisherman, nothing could have prepared him for the fish that would later latch on to the end of his line and lay claim to the Idaho state record.

Fancis‘ day of fishing on Hayden Lake started like any other - same gear, same approach and same goal, to catch big pike.

When he got to the lake that day, there was still some ice on the lake, so he couldn’t cast right up to the shore, only to the edge of the ice. 

“When my lure hit the water, I let it sink all the way to the bottom. As soon as my lure hit the bottom, I felt her hit. I fish with 80 pound-test line, and she almost immediately started peeling drag, a lot of it,“ said Francis.

Francis said he almost immediately knew this was a big fish.

“She pinned herself to the bottom and just kept going, peeling drag the whole time. I knew that wasn’t normal, and I could tell it was something special.“

After peeling drag for a while, the behemoth changed her tactics.

“Suddenly I got slack line, as she was coming straight up from the bottom. She came flying out of the water, and it was obvious she was a huge fish,“  recalled Francis.

When he finally landed her, Francis said he knew she was going to be a state record fish, or at least a close contender.