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   Unhooking Pike
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   Old Thread  #1000 13 Oct 2008 at 9.34pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
It's that time of year again,so I'm putting this back for those wanting a refresher or those reading it for the first time.

"Unhooking Pike" by Andy Macfarlane

I'll assume you are right-handed, in which case I'll describe unhooking as I go about it. You'll find most Pikers carry this out whilst in a kneeling position.

Lay the fish on its left flank, head pointing towards your right hand. You may want to straddle the fish. I use my left shin to prevent the fish from flipping. I don't apply any weight on the fish, I just don't give it any room to move. With your left hand, carefully lift the gill flap a little. Have a look under the flap to see the arrangement. You'll see three sets of rakers. Make sure your fingers haven't picked up any of these and slide one finger along the gill cover, towards the chin. When you get to the chin, you'll find your finger fits nicely into an area of soft skin with no teeth, no rakers and no obstructions.

Lift the head and you should find its mouth will stay wide open without force. You should now have the whole mouth cavity to work with unhindered. You should have a pair of 12" forceps and a pair of wire snips at hand, nothing less. The wire cutters are for fiddly hook-ups. Sometimes it is easier to break the hooks up for quick removal. Never use the snips for cutting the wire, that's a potential death sentence. As long as you have all your unhooking tools at hand, you should find the whole unhooking operation takes less than a minute.

If you are struggling, don't panic. Take the fish in the net back to the water for a good breather. Give the fish and yourself a minute to calm down before carrying out any other procedures. Allow the fish a minute in the water for every minute you have it from the water.

Don't be scared to ask a more experienced Piker for a hand. They should gladly oblige and if asked, will show you how to cope with difficult hook-ups. Pikers love being asked for advice....it makes them feel important and necessary.

Once the fish has been cleared of all oral metalwork. Lift the fish with both hands and carry it back to the water. Once in the water, use your left hand to support the head and use your right hand to hold the tail root. Don't grip the tail, just form a circle with your thumb and finger which prevents the fish from going anywhere. Pike sometimes try to pull away immediately even though they are exhausted. Just keep a slight hold on the fish until you are sure it has fully recovered. Make sure the gill flaps are working and the fish can hold itself upright. When it's definitely ready to go, you will know. Release your hold and the fish should pull away immediately. Just keep an eye on the fish until it has gone. If it's a really happy soldier you'll get a free drink when it kicks its tail.....
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   Old Thread  #60 6 Feb 2014 at 3.03pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #56
Yeh that's the way I've been doing it but ill get better as I begin to unhook more
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   Old Thread  #59 6 Feb 2014 at 11.28am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #58
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   Old Thread  #58 6 Feb 2014 at 10.23am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #57
Think experience is the main key Mark, like you say there are times when there's no need to straddle the pike and unhooking can be done safely other ways depending on the situation as you state.
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   Old Thread  #57 6 Feb 2014 at 9.42am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #56
Like Kev said is easiest but I do both ways depending where it is hooked and what side the fish is on if it's a small one. For anything over 10lb the the diagram way is best.
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   Old Thread  #56 6 Feb 2014 at 7.58am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #55
If your right handed Alan then do as diagram B in your post shows mate, opposite if your left handed....
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   Old Thread  #55 6 Feb 2014 at 1.00am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
We have only unhooked a couple off pike lol. We did have the pike between our legs so it couldn't really move. Using left hand to its left gill.This is the clip I watched and copied . http://youtu.be/pj_YrxOXZRw

Next time ill put it on its back, does it matter what gill I put my left hand in to open when on its back? I first thought the pikes right gill would have been easier but that would maybe make it hard to put the foreceps in through the gill rakers if needed . So maybe put my fingers in its left gill just as I was already doing.. but instead off having it on its side ill put it on its back? Just like the picture bellow?

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
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   Old Thread  #54 5 Feb 2014 at 9.51pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #52
Bloody hell Tim is nothing sacred mate

On a serious note though, Tim your right, get the fish secured in between your legs and it will automatically open its mouth once the hand is slid into its gill. This way it will not be flapping about and doing itself more damage whilst unhooking. Some pike are more obliging than others and can be unhooked calmly, mostly its the jacks that can be a pain......Read Andy's Post and you won't go wrong Alan. If there's one place I wouldn't go for advice its you tube, some of the videos are brutal.....
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   Old Thread  #53 5 Feb 2014 at 7.23pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #52
On it's back is easiest, like Tim said. On it's side is fine too, just make sure it is on the opposite side to the hand you are using to go in through the gill rakers. So in it's right for using the left hand, on it's left for using the right hand.
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   Old Thread  #52 5 Feb 2014 at 6.15pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #51
why would you want to put a pike on the side? i would always put it on the back.

they are way calmer and you can keep the jaws open more easily that way.
you also have better options to "straddle" the pike and at least secure it a bit between you legs (yes kevin, insert joke here )
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   Old Thread  #51 5 Feb 2014 at 5.51pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
We have been putting the pike on its right side to unhook it as that's the way most videos on YouTube shows lol. Will putting the fish on the left side make it easier?
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   Old Thread  #50 22 Jul 2013 at 12.33pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
Some really good info and tips there for unhooking a pike, for me im a lefty so its all in reverse for me.
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   Old Thread  #49 26 Feb 2012 at 1.01am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2
Heres how to not unhook pike. watch for the second fish in the video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo9M6Rq_3I0
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   Old Thread  #48 11 Jan 2012 at 7.28pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1000
Thanks for putting this at the top of the threads!!

My son wants to go spinning for pike (with lures), I have never caught a Pike and am worrying a little and have avoided the trip so far

This has given me some confidence that I wont get bitten or leave the lure etc. inside the fish..

I might even be pleased if he catches one.

Thanks!!!
dave
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   Old Thread  #47 20 Dec 2011 at 9.54pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1000
Sound advice and good read, Look forward to any other threads you put up.
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