Cumberland Times-News

July 13, 2013

Pike’s last supper

Sam Cook
Duluth News Tribune

— DULUTH, Minn. — As Julie Collman tells it, this northern pike literally bit off more than it could chew.

Collman, of Grand Marais, was returning from fishing on Saganaga Lake with her daughter, Jessica Berg-Collman, and friend Mark Welinski of Duluth on July 5.

They were motoring down the Sag Corridor toward the public landing when Collman saw a gull on the water — and something else.

“I saw some fins sticking up,” said Collman, who has been fishing Saganaga since 1991.

“Out of curiosity, I slowed down, turned around and went to look. What we saw was mind-boggling.”

What they saw was a 37-inch-long northern pike lying dead in the water with about a 3-pound sucker stuck headfirst in its jaws. The pike apparently had choked while trying to ingest the fish.

“I was like, ‘Holy cow!’ ” Collman said.

She pulled the northern pike into the boat and measured it. Only the back third of the sucker was protruding from the jaws of the pike. The head had already entered the pike’s stomach. It wasn't clear whether the sucker had been alive when the northern tried to eat it, Collman said.

Collman has the two fish — the sucker still stuck in the pike — in her freezer, she said. She plans to have the pair mounted that way.