See a penny… catch an icy northern pike!

Tim Lesmeister was heading out to his favorite fishing hole when he spotted some coins on the ice. It brought him luck that day when he decided to fish right where he picked up a lucky penny.

Was I born lucky, or do my actions result in the good that happens to me? The old axiom, “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all” haunts some folks. I, on the other hand, have been blessed and I realize it. I’m not superstitious, but I don’t jinx myself when I say, “I can fall into the proverbial outhouse hole and come out smelling like a rose.”

And I admit: I pick up pennies. This is just amazing karma. I come across pennies lying around and I always pick them up, polish them between my thumb and forefinger for a moment, make my wish, then slip the coin into my pocket.

Before I left for Hawaii last month, I took one more ice fishing trip. I visited a favorite bay on Lake Minnetonka. The spot is near a channel where moving water can keep the ice thin. I loaded the sled and headed out from shore. Halfway to my final location, out of the corner of my eye, I caught some tiny contrasting shapes on the ice. It was a couple of quarters, a dime, four nickels, and six pennies. What luck!

Problem was, they were frozen just an eighth-inch below the ice surface.

No way was I was going to leave those lucky charms. I imagined an angler, big stogie in his mouth, digging in his pocket for a lighter, pulling his hand out and losing a few pieces of his labor on the ice, unknown to him and found by me.

I grabbed my metal skimmer and started chipping away. I didn’t need to go deep, but I realized I needed my needle-nosed pliers. When I broke the nickels loose I found a penny underneath them. More luck.

After about 20 minutes, all the change was in my pocket except for one penny that looked older and worn. This one had more experience in the world so it was the strongest for luck. While polishing the penny between my thumb and finger I decided to drill some holes right there.

Holes drilled and sonar down I didn’t see any vegetation in that 16 feet of water. I dropped a Chubby Darter down to see if there were some walleyes. A pike immediately bit off the lure. So much for luck! I tied on another Darter, but this time used a stranded-wire leader. I had my three pike in less than 20 minutes.

So, if you see a penny, pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck. Though sometimes, stranded wire leaders help.

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