Quetico and the Boundary Waters Fishing
Needle nose pliers and forceps:
It's nice to have a lanyard on the needle nose pliers because you will
often use it over the side of the canoe to unhook northern pike. We
do not bring pike into the canoe. They tend to go wild in the bottom
of a canoe and there are just too many sharp teeth and hooks thrashing
around at your feet. The largest trophy pike may need to be beached
and unhooked before taking a few pictures. The forceps can be used on
all smaller fish and any that may have swallowed hooks (see my
post on catch and release).
Steel leaders and snap swivels:
Both do essentially the same thing in that they allow you to quickly
change lures without tying a knot and they both provide protection against
line twist which is very problematic when doing a lot of casting especially
with spinners. The steel leader provides extra protection against the
teeth of northern pike and musky. If you choose not to use a steel leader
when fishing in pike waters you will not only lose lures but will also
lose fish that are likely to die with a lure lodged in their mouth.
One drawback of the steel leader is that it tends to inhibit the action
of lightweight lures. Use the ball-bearing snap swivels with jig spinners.
Tie jig heads directly to the line with the Palomar knot.