PIKE, despite being aggressive predators, are extremely delicate fish and easily damaged in the wrong hands.

It is essential for anybody fishing for pike to be able to handle them confidently and unhook them correctly. Here’s how…

1 The first rule of predator fishing is to avoid deep hooking. That’s achieved by prompt striking allied to efficient bite indication and rigs. Pike swallow their prey head-first and you need to wind down and pull into the fish immediately to prevent the trebles becoming lodged deep inside the throat.

2 Equip yourself with long nosed forceps of varying lengths to clamp on the shank of a treble and extract it from the pike without causing damage. Pliers are useful for lures. Wear a gardening or butcher’s chain mail glove to grip the pike under the bottom jaw between the gill filaments and gill cover.

3 Control the pike on the unhooking mat by trapping it between your knees without actually putting any weight on the fish. It’s critical to prevent it thrashing around, otherwise you could suffer cuts or even worse injuries from a flying treble.

4 Gently turn the pike onto its back, gripping it under the jaw and lifting slightly to open the mouth and locate the trebles. Maintain slight pressure on the trace to remove the furthest treble first. Gently feed your forceps through the gill cover to loosen a treble that’s deeper in the throat. Then simple remove the other treble and the pike is ready to be returned to the water.

  • Pete Austin

    Well done Anglers mail for printing this!
    Hopefully gags will be a consigned to history soon.
    There is plenty of info about responsible pike fishing in magazines,books and the internet these days.NO EXCUSE!

  • harry applebee

    that is really helpfull. i didnt know how to unhook a pike and thaught it was just an ordinary removal but i was obviously wrong. these instructions have been really helpfull but can you tell me what someone would have to do if they hooked a fish and then when they were reeling in the fish injured itself so badly that they couldnt put it back.