There has been an awful lot written about Carp safety. However, Pike are a more delicate species. And with the lack of big Pike in this country, I feel there should be a greater deal of emphasis put on this. I personally use the same equipment for Carp fishing as I do for Pike and have found that the modern style make like Pack away mat , which is very light and easy to carry, is perfect for this job.
From this to this in a matter of seconds
I am also a firm believer in the correct style weigh slings/fish retainer should also be used.
All ready and waiting for my first fish.
Now depending on your swim (and your safety), once I have unhooked the Pike, I will also place the Pike in the retainer and put this in the river/lake. On river, please be mindful of the direction of the current and the Pike’s head should always face the flow, with the retaining sling, I have a clip on the other end.
This you can clip the cord to and then attach to a bank stick, thus holding the fish out of the current and close to the bank for a few minutes. This is while you set up your photography equipment.
Photo sling in water.
I use a compact Panasonic lumix DT70
This has a function of time laps shots, I set at 1 every 10 seconds until it’s done 100. I set the tripod up in front of the mat all ready and press start. Then there is no worries about holding a remote, it’s all done in your own time and the safety of the Pike. Once complete, you can safely return the Pike using the retainer sling and the fish can fully recover and move off when ready.
When unhooking pike I carry an array of stuff.
Forceps, pliers and cutters, I am not a fan of gloves as you can’t feel the fish very well when putting your hand in their gills and could easily damage them without knowing. If you use your hands, you are more careful in handling them and less likely to cause any damage and hopefully, we may/will start to see a good head of 35lb+ Pike up and down the country.
Last but very important, strike quickly – gone are the days of leave it for a minute, we can ill afford to have deep hooked Pike, as this is a big cores of Pike death’s.
A very nice 21lb 10oz Hampshire Avon Pike.
Hope this is helpful
Till next time