REDSHIRT LAKE, Alaska — About 70 miles north of Anchorage, off the Parks Highway, you'll find Nancy Lake State Recreation Area.
Photojournalist Zac Gooch and I were headed for Redshirt Lake and a canoe trip in search of northern pike. This is Zac's first pike fishing trip.
We started at Tippecanoe, which rents canoes. Basically, you stop and pay your fee, pick up a key, paddles and life vest, and then walk in. Once you reach the lake, your key will unlock a canoe and you're ready to go.
The three-mile hike is relatively easy, with plenty of scenery on a well-groomed trail. There are a lot of bugs, so bring bug repellant.
Redshirt Lake used to be a good lake for rainbow trout fishing. But in the 1980s, northern pike moved in and now, that's all you'll catch.
We're not using treble hooks, because a treble hook can be tricky to get out of a pike s mouth.