Have you seen the photo of the massive fish that a lucky angler hauled out of Lake Lillinonah recently? It's a beast, and I certainly will be thinking about it the next time I dip my toes into any fresh water here in Connecticut. Have you ever caught a fish that big? I caught a monster once, and it was in Thomaston of all places.

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Yes, Thomaston, and no, it wasn't in the Naugatuck River. I once caught a Pike at my buddy Eric's pond. The only one I ever caught in my life, and it scared the hell out of me. Eric is Eric Stevens, of Thomaston's Stevens Company, Inc. on Waterbury Road in town. Well, Eric's family once owned most of the land that is now occupied by Cumberland Farms, Thomaston Savings Bank, and the condos on Stevens Boulevard off of S. Main Street. There's a little pond behind the condo complex now, but back in the glorious 80's and 90's, it was the Steven's private pond, and I was lucky enough to fish up there with Eric.

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It was amazing, Eric's father used to chase anyone off if he found anyone casting up there, so it was always very quiet, and the fish? Oh man, every cast used to get a sunny, a smallmouth, largemouth, or a branch. One Summer morning though, I threw my line out, and I felt something really grab it. I thought I snagged a bunch of weeds, or another branch, but it was a pike, and I never saw one before, and it was the biggest fish I had ever seen.

Northern Pikes are found in fresh water all over Connecticut, and can get up to 3 feet in length, and weigh almost 12 pounds. The pike I caught wasn't anywhere near that size, but it was absolutely over 24 inches, and it had the biggest mouth I had ever seen, with teeth that looked like they would pierce my skin like old wet paper.

Eric wasn't as shocked as I was, so he helped me get the poor pike off of my hook and back into the water. That pike is still the biggest fish I ever caught. One of these days though, I'd love to get one of those carp on Lake Zoar, those things have always given me the creeps.

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