MASON CITY | Jeff Lutcavish had just lost what he thought was about a 4-pounder while fishing Sunday evening. Suddenly, something bigger — much bigger — took his lure.
After a 20-25-minute tussle, the Mason City man landed a 43-inch, 22-pound, 13-ounce northern pike in a private quarry near Mason City.
It was 1½ pounds and 2 inches short of the state record caught in 1977 in West Okoboji and was the biggest northern ever registered at The Crazy Minnow bait shop in Clear Lake, according to owner Dan Krauth. It was also a personal best of any species of fish for Lutcavish.
“I’ve never had any near that size,” even fishing in Florida, he said Monday.
Lutcavish, who was using a Rapala lure, said landing the northern was “a battle.”
“The net I had wasn’t big enough to get the tail into,” he said. “It was a battle getting it out.”
Prior to Sunday, the biggest northern he caught wasn’t even 10 pounds. In Minnesota, he did land an 11-pound, 2-ounce walleye. But nothing compares to the prize he caught Sunday — a trophy headed for a spot on his wall.
“It was one in a lifetime,” he said.
Oh, don’t bother asking him exactly where he caught it. He’ll simply reply, “By the lip.”
“I’m not about to divulge my honey-hole,” he said.
— Tom Thoma