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Handling Pike

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Handling Pike

Post by Woodchucker on Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:44 pm

I have been asked to put a sticky together on handling pike so here we go.

I think that equipment comes under the banner of handling pike as rods reels and line make a big difference between playing a pike quickly and safely or prolonging a fight and having a knackered pike sat in your net.

I reccomend the use of 12ft rods between 2.75 and 3.25lb test depending on the venue and the size of bait you wish to cast, reels need to be strong and rugid as pike fishing is generally a rough and mobile approach rather than sat behind a set of stainless buzzbars with the handles all aligned :oops: they must also have a good spool capacity anything over 250yards of 15lb line will be a bonus, and a good smooth clutch will help no end when playing a pike under the rod tip, a baitrunner is generally not needed as 90% of my fishing is done with an open bail arm.
Line is a personel thing however 15lb mono minimum or 40-50lb braid are the norm amungst most pike anglers.

Bite indication is vital when baitfish as pike can engulf a 5-6" bait in a about 15-30 seconds so its vital to have a sensative setup, so if your floatfishing for pike please make sure that you are never more than 2ft overdepth otherwise the first indication you get on your float will be that the pike has swallowed the bait and is moving on which will mean a deep hooked pike and the possible death of the fish. I ham goint to talk about my main line of attack which is the free running ledger.

My basic and I meen basic setup for a running ledger goes like this.

A running rig either john roberts or likewise which has a 2.5oz-3oz lead, now the important thing to remember is that there must be a weak link so either attach the running rig too the lead with line that is weaker than your mainline or use your mainline with a couple of overhand knots in it.
After threading your ainline through the running rig thread a bead onto the line, this gives you protection of the knot and stop the running rig running over your snap tackle (trace), I then attach this to a crosslink swivel with a 7 turn water knot, the good thing about using a crosslink swivel is that you can change your snap tackle without having to mess about re-tying up after every fish and you can leave your rods set up ready for the next session. See I told you it was simple.

Bite indication when useing the running ledger or the sunken patonoster are almost identical, Set your rests up about 5ft apart, I know this seems along way apart but there is a reason that will become apparent later, its important to point your rods in a line with your bait ecause angles mean friction and resistance both of which we need to avoid, the picture below shows a view of my rod from above.



After you have cast your bait out and it has hit the water lift your rod up in the air an d wind two or three times as this will enshore that your tight to your lead, which is vital for good indiaction. You can now place your rod on th rest.

There are a number of alarms on the market and I am not going to tell you what to buy , the method I will show you consists of a front bite alarm and a rear drop off indicator, a bobbin on a chain is not ideal but will work if needs must as long as it is well weighted.. You should now have a tightline from reel to your bait and bow in the line between your rod tip and the water is not good enough.. now aline the droparm indiactor to the front of your spool and attach your line to the line clip on your indicator and open your bail arm, the picture below shows the ideal angle to have the indicator which will show both a run and a dropback bite straight away. You will see that the indicator head is not directly under the spool however its better to be under the spool than infront of the spool because a take will see a lot of line coming off your spool and possibly causing a tangle.

The reason I have my front alarm so far forward is that when using an open spool it is important that line will still run over your alarm, if you have it too close to the rear rest then line can skip over your bite alarm so be warned.



Your now fishng so its important to have all your unhooking gear ready at hand the picture below shows everything need while baitfish, a large landing net, unhooking mat, long nose forceps (pliers are not acceptable) and bolt cutters, if you dont have any of these then dont fish for pike until you have.



I see a lot of people struggling with striking into fish once a run has occured, I also struggled until did my homework and this is now second nature, when a run happens, pick up your rod and close your bail arm point your rod directly at the water and wind down quickly, eventually you will not be able to wind no more this is the time to lift the rod directly above your head, now I always have my clutch on full when using mono and just off is using braid which will help set the hooks, you can quickly loosen the clutch once the fish is hooked.

Once you have landed your fish and its sat in the net, lift the fish straight to the unhooking mat and lay the fish down if you can lift get rid of the net easily then do so as a tangle in the net should be avoided however if it does happen ie when you have a flying treble then you take the bolt cutters and take then cut the hook out.
If you have a large fish then the best way to unhook the fish is to straddle the fish, this will give you control if the fish flips out as they sometimes do.

The best way to get a pike to open its mouth for you to unhook it is to place 3 fingers inside the bottom of its jaw in the gill cover, then gently but firmly lifting the pikes head the mouth will automatically open as if by magic, if the pike does tense up and then lower your body over the fish until it stops its generally only for a few seconds before the fish calms down, see below.



You can now see the hooks easily, I tend to unhook the deepest hook first and lift it towards the entrance of the mouth and out of the way, the second hook is then easily delt with and taken away, the best bit of advice I can give anybody is dont panic and take your time, after doing it a few times it will become second nature, I will tend to unhook jacks actually in the water rather than putting them through the ordeal of coming on the bank, larger pike need to be handled with a little more care due to there size.





Once your pike has been unhooked and you have a picture lay the pike down in the water but keep a hold of the wrist of the tail and keep the fish upright, do this for as long as it takes or until the pike pulls away from you and then let it goes on its way.




This concludes my write up and I hope it helps you in your pike fishing, thanks to Ryan who kindley took all the photos.

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Re: Handling Pike

Post by NIDGE MAC on Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:51 pm

Applaud Applaud a very helpfull description of how it should be done, great write up ady, and did i spy Suspect some red bait addative on your hands....... Wink
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Re: Handling Pike

Post by Woodchucker on Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:52 pm

NIDGE MAC wrote:Applaud Applaud a very helpfull description of how it should be done, great write up ady, and did i spy Suspect some red bait addative on your hands....... Wink

Yup

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Re: Handling Pike

Post by ryan on Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:52 pm

nice write up mate them close ups came out really well Twisted Evil
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Re: Handling Pike

Post by Woodchucker on Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:53 pm

Wink

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Re: Handling Pike

Post by NIDGE MAC on Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:57 pm

well done ryan too, for some great shots with the camara......... Applaud you boys seemed to have some fun down there............
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Re: Handling Pike

Post by Woodchucker on Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:01 pm

It was the usual 10am-2pm rush drunken

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Re: Handling Pike

Post by NIDGE MAC on Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:11 pm

got myself some et long nose side cutters yesterday 12" long, been told there like the fox ones :!: so long as they do the job who cares..



Last edited by NIDGE MAC on Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Handling Pike

Post by ryan on Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:16 pm

NIDGE MAC wrote:got myself some et long nose side cutters yesterday 12" long, been told there like the fox ones :!: so lone as they do the job who cares..


they will cut hooks easy and thats all they need to do the main thing is the handle length to get in the the pikes throat
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Re: Handling Pike

Post by Woodchucker on Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:18 pm

I can just about get away with mine because if its deep I will go through the gill cover, a nice bit of kit them Nidge Wink

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Re: Handling Pike

Post by NIDGE MAC on Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:27 pm

Its not the cost that counts, its the pike at the end of the day, catch and release without any harm to them is a good days fishing.. Wink
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Re: Handling Pike

Post by Woodchucker on Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:31 pm

Could not of said it better myself mate Wink

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Re: Handling Pike

Post by Dando on Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:49 pm

Excellent write up mate something like that has been long over due on here mate so hats off we often see many people turn up to poo city with out the correct tools or not knowing how to handle pike but it's not just poo city it's other venues around the UK

so i have a plan which may help especially at Poo city, now we all know that there lots of people who buy them self a micky mouse rod and reel and a pike float then call them selves pike anglers, they turn up to waters armed with literally just that no tools to unhook pike and no understanding on how to handle them either, now we'll never stop these people doing it so why not try and assist them maybe print of little leaflets with the correct tools to use and a quick step by step on how to handle pike, and basicly just hand them out to amiture pike anglers we see or even staple them to trees along the water just so these people can see them and maybe they may take notice, i look at it this way if just one person listens to it and takes it in we've done our job.

we could add something like this to the leaflet or message board


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Re: Handling Pike

Post by NIDGE MAC on Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:04 pm

with the added forum web site link at the bottom........... Wink
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Re: Handling Pike

Post by Woodchucker on Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:14 pm

Its not a bad idea mate, or organise an open day up there and invite people from the forums scratch

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Re: Handling Pike

Post by Dando on Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:15 pm

NIDGE MAC wrote:with the added forum web site link at the bottom........... Wink

oh yes very good thinking nidge see why we like you

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Re: Handling Pike

Post by Dando on Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:19 pm

Woodchucker wrote:Its not a bad idea mate, or organise an open day up there and invite people from the forums scratch

yeah thing is that your not suppose to fish it so it could be a problem there just thinking legal terms, i think the flyer/poster thing would be better idea mainly because we could put that your not supposed to fish there ad cover ourselves that way.

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Re: Handling Pike

Post by ryan on Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:25 pm

nice idea but that could mess it up for everyone it will bring attention to us fishing the locals dont really do much damage to the pike
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Re: Handling Pike

Post by Woodchucker on Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:46 pm

There is that Ryan scratch

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Re: Handling Pike

Post by Stotty on Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:48 pm

nice carp rod and reel lol! No joking apart a top job there Woody Superman

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Re: Handling Pike

Post by Woodchucker on Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:50 pm

Cheers Stotty Wink

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Re: Handling Pike

Post by noodle on Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:58 pm

you just had to get more photos of the rods and reels in didnt you lol!
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Re: Handling Pike

Post by Stotty on Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:33 am

noodle wrote:you just had to get more photos of the rods and reels in didnt you lol!

YES lol!


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Re: Handling Pike

Post by Woodchucker on Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:09 am

Ok I am a tackle slut :oops:

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Re: Handling Pike

Post by tackle tart on Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:45 am

good info woody will help some to handle the fish better

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