The one that actually DIDN’T get away

Okay, I know this is a lame-ass photo of a stupid big fish.

And I know some of you will find this incredibly boring.


But it’s MY stupid big fish.    It’s the biggest one I’ve ever caught.

It was one of the highlights of my summer.

So I’m gonna post this.

So there.

Friar's Fish

PS.   My more genteel Earth-Mother Granola readers need not be concerned for the welfare of Mr. Pike, here.

This big guy was catch-and-released.

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27 Comments on “The one that actually DIDN’T get away”

  1. Bandobras Says:

    I see so you didn’t jerk a sharp hook in his mouth and haul him out of his environment to eat him, you just molested the fish for fun. That’s much more evolved.
    And then you throw him back. He must feel sooo rejected and is probably even now looking for a good counselor.
    Just what we need more pike with self esteem issues.

  2. Kelly Says:


    Wow. He’s almost tall enough to ride the big kid rides at the amusement park!

    I’d say he’s a beauty, but… fish are kinda ugly. I cannot tell a lie. He is quite amazingly large, though. He’d make a meal for five!

    Not knowing a thing about fish, is he a regular ol’ pike or some special kind that can only be found on hidden Canadian lakes that secretive mentors tell you about? And does his height mean he’s old, or does that variety always grow so large?

    And how did Junior Bear get such a good shot of you both when he’s so darn short?

    Full of questions. Fishy things are a bit foreign to me.



  3. Friar Says:


    Ah, yet another comment from you, where you take a shot at me. Glad you didn’t let me down.

    But don’t worry about Mr. Pike. Now that he’s been caught, he’s learned his lesson and he’ll be be much more wary next time. I’ve increased his chances of survival.

    So, you can say, I actually did him a favor.

    I admit…when pike get large, they tend to get a bit ugly. They start looking like small gators. (You should see the size of the teeth on ’em!).

    This is just your regular garden-variety northern pike. The same you find in the lakes in New England. They do have big ones like this down there (Lake Champlain, I suspect). Just not as many.

    The odds of finding a big one increase, the further away from civilization you get, where the lakes aren’t as heavily fished.

    Hence my trip up north, where the lake I was on could only be accessed by bush plane.

    Big bruisers like this will eat anything. Small fish, their own cousins, small waterfowl and even muskrats.
    I got this guy on a tiny minnow.

    Like I said, they’ll eat ANYTHING. I guess he wanted a snack.

  4. Friar Says:


    PS. Junior didn’t take the photo. That was one of the few days I actually had a guide in the boat with me. He took the snapshot.

  5. Linda Says:

    That is a very nice big pike. And I know you are proud of catching it. I wonder, do they make for good eating?

  6. Friar Says:


    Pike have a bad reputation for being bony. But if you fillet them right, they’re perfectly fine. And if you catch them in a cold clear lake, they can be just as delicious as walleye.

    In fact, I kept a few of the smaller ones I caught, to bring home and to fry up.

  7. Karen JL Says:

    Well, you gave that fish a very cool story to tell his friends.

    “Dude…you would not *believe* what just happened to me!”

    All his friends just gave him the side-eye though.

  8. Friar Says:


    Maybe I was the one that got away, (not him).

  9. Karen JL Says:

    @ Friar – Yes, I’m sure the two of you could have been very happy together.

    Oh well. Other fish in the sea and all…

  10. Friar Says:


    It was not meant to be. We were from two different worlds…

  11. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Wee Friar,

    You have so few comments about this Blog. Your readers don’t understand about fishing. For years I didn’t understand. I remember the first time I got a tug on my line when I went fishing with you. I was so excited.

    It’s not just about catching a fish. It’s about being in the out-of-doors, sounds of birds and frogs, wind in the trees, lily pads, water striders, beaver dams, water lapping at the canoe, wildlife, clouds in the sky, changing scenery.

    The colours in the changing sky and water at sunset time are surreal.

    Fishing with someone is relaxing, which leads one to converse on a relaxed level.

    Fishing from a boat or from shore forces one to calm down and be still, to be patient, and to enjoy the moment.

    I’m looking forward to next season.

  12. seestor Says:

    Brother Fry! You finally learned how to use Photoshop. Good job. You should be proud.


  13. Davina Says:

    Friar… I love your mom. She “knows” things 🙂 A special lady.

    @Seestor, LMAO!

  14. Davina Says:

    And you know… I qualify as a “genteel Earth-Mother Granola reader”, but I don’t get the whole idea of throwing em back. Guess I have more to learn about fishing.

  15. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Davina,

    I dunno much about fishing, except what I learned from Wee Friar. He throws back the big ones so they can go forth and multiply. He also throws back the wee ones because they’re too small to fillet.

    I can also understand the thrill of the hunt. There’s also such a thing as allowable limit one can keep.

    Is that right Wee Friar?


    I like the term Brother Fry. If he belonged to a monastery, he’d be given the title of Father or “Fra”. That would make him Fra Fry.

  16. Friar Says:

    @Friar’s Mom

    See? You get it. You understand fishing. A lot of people don’t.

    And even then, you didn’t catch onto the whole concept until you were well into your 60’s.

    But I’m glad you did.

    Yes, I taught myself Photoshop.

    I wanted to do Eyeteaguy proud.

    A good fishermen throws the big ones back. A 35 inch-pike is relatively rare…he obviously knows how to survive. You want a big guy like this to go breed and make more big monsters. That’s good conversation, that’s what maintains a sustainable fishery on the lake.

    Besides, the big fish’s fillets aren’t as tender as the smaller ones. The smaller ones are actually better for the frying pan. We already have more fish than we can eat at the Lodge, so (most of us) let the big guys go.

  17. Eyeteaguy Says:

    This is a lame-ass photo of a stupid big fish.

    I find this incredibly boring.

    Highlights of your summer? Sad Summer…..

    I wish you didn’t post this.

    So there.


  18. Friar Says:


    What? No comments on my Photoshopping?

    I learned it just for YOU, man!

  19. XUP Says:

    I’m not as concerned about the fish as I am about your wardrobe. Like, OMG!! You went out in public in sweats and a saggy old t-shirt — AND there were PHOTOGRAPHERS around??? I would just DIE! I hope your hair, at least, was perfect. ‘Cuz with perfect hair you can sometimes, sort of pull off a fashion faux pas like this and make it look, you know, like, grunge-hip or something. Like.

  20. Friar Says:


    Yes, they’re quite stringent about dress codes at fishing lodges in Northern Ontario.

    Rest assured, I had my formal baseball cap on, which is considered proper attire north of the French River.

  21. Davina Says:

    Thanks for the fishing lesson. Hadn’t considered the fact that the smaller ones would be more tasty. RE: “A 35 inch-pike is relatively rare…he obviously knows how to survive.” … it kinda makes you feel special that he chose your line. The Fishing Lodge can use a pic like this — no matter bout the attire — the colour of the shirt is kinda coordinated with the colour of the fish 🙂

  22. Brett Legree Says:

    Funny what your mom said about fishing being more than just throwing a line in the water.

    I tried to explain that to someone many years ago when I was being razzed about playing paintball (woodsball style, not speedball in the arenas – back when we all had 10-shot pistols, I mean).

    I said it was so much more than just shooting gelatin balls at other people.

    You’re sneaking around in the bush, crawling under stuff, hiding, you can hear and smell everything, your senses are heightened.

    I imagine it is much like hunting game (I’ve never done that, believe it or not – was never much into killing critters).

    And then after that, it is the stories about the one that got away.

    (@Bandobras – the pike doesn’t have issues, what Friar didn’t tell you was that he gave Mr. Fishy a pint of strong ale before he sent him on his way…)

  23. Friar Says:

    That’s what I like about fishing. There are big ones there. You never know if or when you’ll land one. It’s like winning the lottery.

    And NICE of you to notice my matching shirt! (I deliberately picked that color, for just that reason!) 🙂

    Ah. Very Viking-Like (even thought they didn’t have guns back then).

    But I can see how paint-ball is satisfying, on a deeper level than just shooting gelatin balls.

    And it was easy to give Mr. Fish a pint. I used his mouth as a bottle opener, before pouring it down his throat. And he thanked me. (hiccup!)

  24. Brett Legree Says:


    Yes, it is a pretty neat outdoor experience. Unlike hunting for critters, your prey also hunts you.

    There’s a bit of “incentive” to be good (i.e. it stings a bit).

    And you can have a pint of beer or three with your “foes” at the end of the day.

    Win-win-win in my book.

  25. Friar Says:

    Yeah, but I can picture the tree-huggers being against it.

    “Why don’t you just discuss your differences, and do a group yoga session instead?”, they’ll probably say.

    (Of course, they’d make good cannon-fodder themselves..!)

  26. Friar's Mom Says:


    Thanks to you I learned something new today. I didn’t know outdoor paint ball existed.

    One can learn new things from this blog, even though it begam with Friar’s fish.

    As a kid I crawled in deep moss and under low lying fir tree branches, wet with rain. I can still remember the earthy smells. I wasn’t playing paint ball. My dad taught us to hunt for boletus mushrooms. They’re the tastiest wild mushrooms.

  27. Brett Legree Says:

    @Friar’s Mom,

    I suppose a lot of folks today – if they know what it is – think it only happens in arenas, since that’s what you’d see on TV.

    When I started in 1987, it was played only outdoors, and was a game of stealth and skill.

    In fact, some of the best players could stalk an opponent and effect a “silent tag” – basically, if you can get close enough to someone to touch them, they are out.

    I’ve been able to do it once or twice myself, and you feel pretty darned good if you can do that.

    (Plus, it saves the other person a bruise on the butt…)

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