Pike Fishing


MAN OF STEEL: Senior Aidan Pike shows of his catch after a long day of fishing in the cold river water. (photo courtesy of AIdan Pike)

Caden Buller, Reporter

For most students, fishing is uncommon in their household. They may know what it is, or they may have caught a largemouth bass with their grandpa years ago. But, no matter the case, they don’t share the same love senior Aiden Pike has for the sport of fishing.

“I fell in love with fishing on Beaver Island in Michigan,” Pike said. “Ever since I was little, I would fish with my dad on the surrounding islands for smallmouth bass and pike.”

Pike was first exposed to the outdoorsman lifestyle by his father at a young age. With time, he developed a strong passion for fishing and hunting.

“He’s very invested and fishes or hunts every second he gets,” senior and close friend Dom Jerovsek said. “He’s always looking to learn and be involved in so many different seasons and to go after lots of different species.”

Pike took his hobby and made it his lifestyle. He researches, experiments and shares his knowledge with others.

“Everything I know has been a collection of learning from failure, research and friends,” Pike said. “My dad taught me the basics, but when it comes to finding spots to fish, different techniques and what equipment to use, I taught myself.”

Being an outdoorsman is a lot like playing a sport. Like athletes, fishermen can have the best gear there is and still not be as good as the ones who don’t just like it, but live and breathe it.

“The love for the outdoors is something pure and uncorrupted,” Pike said. “But to me, the modern outdoorsman isn’t someone who is the most talented, it’s someone who is a good steward of the land.”

Pike has a large appreciation for the outdoors as he spends more time in nature than most. He understands how fragile it is and doesn’t take it for granted.

“Generations before my own haven’t done a great job at protecting the resources that I love so very much,” Pike said. “What past generations did or didn’t do is out of my control. The only thing that an outdoorsman can do is work to leave his or her planet better than it was before.”

Luckily, Pike is anything but selfish when it comes to sharing what he has seen and learned from his time in nature. He shares his skills to people of all ages. 

“This past summer, I was provided the opportunity to guide an older gentleman around named Tom Erhardt and show him how I do things,” Pike said. 

For Pike, there’s more to fishing than just catching a fish. There’s a social aspect that brings people of all ages together. Nothing matters except the love they share for their hobby. 

“Tom and I would’ve never met in the grocery store if it wasn’t for the love of fishing that sparked our conversation in the first place,” Pike said “I love fishing alone, but fishing with my buddies is so much more fun and effective. Sharing fun experiences with each other on the water is undoubtedly my favorite part of fishing.”

Most Michigan fishermen understand how lucky they are to be in a state of such fishing diversity. There are bayous, rivers and even lakes. Pike takes advantage of these aspects by being a jack of all trades when it comes to throwing some line in the water.

“I have the opportunity to fish the Great Lakes for a multitude of different species with a multitude of different techniques,” Pike said. “I can troll for salmon and sight-cast smallmouth bass in crystal clear water. The possibilities are endless. I can also drive an hour north of Grand Haven and go fly fish on a remote river for trout. Without a doubt, Michigan holds some of the best and most unique fishing in the country, yet it’s still just a fraction of what lies out there.”

Some families went to Florida to escape the Michigan cold, while Pike went to go see what lies out there. It’s certainly a trip he will never forget.

“My spring break trip in Florida has caused me to reflect upon how much fun saltwater fishing is,” Pike said, “I felt something heavy eat the bait and it took three guys to keep the rod in the boat. Saltwater fishing is just spectacular.”

The battle was lost for Pike for that round, but an even bigger surprise came from a close friend and senior Matt Zelenka.

“Yeah I kinda just casted off the pier and hoped for the best,” Zelenka said “Next thing I know we were looking at a pretty big fish.”

After some hollers, cheers and pictures, Pike and his buddies released the behemoth but held onto the memories.

“I know that night will go down as one of the most insane experiences of my life.” Pike said, “And I’m glad I had three good friends to share it with.”

It’s the little things that make the most, or in this case, the big things. The experiences, the friendships and thrill all make Pikes’ form of free time worth it for him. And he doesn’t care what anyone else has to say about it. 

“People love to judge those who are truly passionate about something,” Pike said. “They’re scared that if they open up and be themselves. I ask that my classmates find something they love and try to be the best that they can at it. The collection of passionate people makes for a strong team.”