The Global FlyFisher
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Where can I find a well illustrated description of how to hand land a pike?
I was flyfishing for pike with my good friend Asger on a lake recently, and we had fairly good success with these toothy critters. We hooked four fish and landed two - or rather: Asger landed two of which one was min and the other his own.
And this is actually the reason that I want illustrated instructions on how to hand land a pike. Because there is a way, which is harmless to both pike and man, while most other methods can injure either or both. Asger managed to injure himself, both the pikes were alright.
I was trying to describe to Asger how to grab the pike along the gill lid and let your hand slide up to the jaw, but did a very bad job of it, and he got his hand into the teeth on the gills of the fish, and actually hurt himself rather badly.
So I started hunting the web for good illustrations of the grip, which is good to know when fishing for pike.
I found a few good articles, but still lack a goo set of pictures or drawings of the exact grip.
One page was Predator Fishing in the UK, which has an article on the subject.
Many anglers recommend nets and unhooking mats, but if you are in a float tube or wading, the proper hand grip is probably the best method.
Below you see Asger with my pike - about 2 kilos or 4 lbs was our guess - and his hand in its gills. This was not the right way... The pike was fine after a bit of reviving, but Asger was bleeding.
Next time I go pike fishing - and catch a fish - I will make sure that we get a series of pictures of the proper grip, and get an article on GFF.
Here Poul has got the right grip. Next step is a hand under the belly: