You've had a long day! Work was tough, the kids were driving you crazy, the mailman came and all he had for you is bills. You need to just get away for a bit. So what do you do?
Sheldon Royal likes to take his stress and go fishing. And on Sunday evening, he did just that. He loaded up his canoe and headed for a local pond passed by many, fished by few, Heald Pond. This pond is known for the abundant sunfish, perch, pickerel and largemouth bass population.
Royal took an ultra-light rod and reel. The reel was loaded with 6-pound test line. For bait, he chose an assortment of swimming and popping plugs. He was hoping to entice a bass or two to take his offering.
After cruising around and throwing plugs, it happened. A fish hit his bait and the fight was on. But this fight was not like any other fight the talented angler has been on before.
The fresh-water fish started towing his canoe. The fish stayed deep so he had no idea what he had hooked! Was it a big bass, perhaps a turtle? They are big enough. And there was no splash!
This fish was all power. Then Royal got a peek at the fish. This was no bass and no turtle. It was very long. In fact, it was huge, especially for this little pond. Then he got the fish to turn sideways alongside his canoe and with no net he slipped his hand under the gill plate and lifted a 40-inch, 15-pound 6-ounce Northern pike from the water.
It was first thought he had a pickerel because there aren't supposed to
What Mass Wildlife wants to know is how this fish got into Heald Pond. It's not a fish they stock there and not one they want there. Wildlife officials said the worst thing would be if someone put a few males and females in there and they spawned. Those fish could go down Gulf Brook and wipe out the native brook trout found there and then dump into the Nissitissit River and wipe out all the trout there, too.
In the meantime, Sheldon Royal, who owns Hunters Rendezvous on Route 119 in Pepperell, has some serious bragging rights. He took a huge fish and did the pond a favor, too.
Bill Biswanger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.