Even with bad weather, cool water temps, and sluggish pike, we were able to do well on the upper river.
The upper Innoko River is located in western Alaska, near Holy Cross. It is rarely fished, and this area has some of the biggest northern pike anywhere.
As it turned out, the "bite window" was short and occurred late at night, yet my partner, Mike Scott, and I, caught more than our share of big fish.
I ended up with 5 pike over 20 lbs. with the largest fish tipping the scale at 29 lbs.
Here are a few pictures, and you can read the "rest of the story", with more pictures, on
With water temps below 60 deg. unfortunately, we did not have any top water action. We used sink tip lines and yellow/orange Pike Neutralizers the entire trip!
We stayed at a small cabin about 40 miles above the last village, on the Innoko, and from our little trappers cabin, you would need to travel 650 miles up river to find another road, village, or person. Talk about remote. Wow!
The outfitter had mentioned that we would get shots at fish around 30 lbs., and asked if we would rig our leaders for IGFA, which we did. After the 29 lb. pike (caught on 20 lb. test), I switched to 8 lb. test, and caught 4 more fish over 20 lbs., including a 26 lb. monster that missed the world record by 1 pound.
Now I have a good excuse to return....maybe next year!
Northern Pike might just be my favorite game fish, especially on top water gurglers!