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Small northern pike like this one are common on several area lakes. However, releasing larger fish are the key to increasing the size structure of northern pike. (Jason Durham / For the Enterprise)

Even small pike deserve praise as keepers

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Over the past few weeks, northern pike in the area have been quite active.

However, finding a large pike, one of brag-worthy proportion, isn't necessarily easy.

Although the Park Rapids area is noteworthy in terms of big northerns, it doesn't compare to trophy pike destinations such as glacial Canadian waters and a couple relatively close-by trophy havens like Red Lake and Lake of the Woods.

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