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Boatusangler  Markzona  Fishing  Northernpike  

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Reuniting with Eddie the Head

By MZona - Published August 15, 2013 - Viewed 2424 times

As a kid, growing up on Chicago’s South Side, summer weekends often meant driving to Michigan with my dad to catch, or at least attempt to catch, the elusive “Gator Kong” – my name for Northern Pike.

Maybe it was the fact that they looked like “Eddie the Head” who appeared on Iron Maiden album covers that made me love them. No doubt, three footers with fins and teeth are captivating, and as a kid, big Northern Pike were the Mike Tyson of the early 90s in the freshwater fish world.

Let’s just say Dad and I never really mastered the art of catching monster pike, and soon came my love of fishing in bass tournaments. I traded the thrill of buying a dozen giant sucker minnows for bait, for learning how to skip docks.

Looking back, I kinda sold-out on one of the original thrills of fishing, to instead try to catch a limit and a paycheck. I actually perceived pike to be a pain in the butt when they’d bite in the middle of a bass tournament.

The past three weeks have readjusted my attitude about pike. Maybe I should say my sons’ newfound love of giant pike have adjusted my attitude. The look on their faces when we boated our first monster was a sucker punch reminder that I had been missing the thrill of catching these 10 – 15 pound beasts.

Mark Zona's sons

Hunter and Jakob have been asking if we can go pike fishing pretty much everyday for three weeks now, and it’s brought back memories – great memories – of me bugging my dad to leave Chicago to chase pike in Michigan every weekend. I’m not sure pike are still the monster on the Iron Maiden album to me … but it dang sure is to my kids – and that’s cool.

Of course, I like to remind the boys daily that school is about to start again - purely to aggravate them. School will bring an end to our pike fishing. Sadder yet, is the fact that I’m about to spend an awful lot of time away from home filming for Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show, like 800 – 1,000 miles from home, in places like Louisiana and Alabama.

It’s always hard to say goodbye to summer, and it’s brutally tough to be away from Karin and the boys. One small piece of comfort is the BoatUS ANGLER membership card in my wallet. If I have a mechanical issue while on the road or on the water, I know they’ll be there to help my mechanically declined self. Just like Dad was always willing to help me chase down Eddie the Head thirty years ago.

Signing up for BoatUS ANGLER and becoming eligible for their “Weigh-to Win” tournament cash bonuses is easy, visit www.BoatUSFishing.com, or just call Kendell at (918) 742-6424, she’ll get you signed up.

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