Fishing tips

Do not use a lip grip

Never use a lip grip to land or weigh your fish. It is a rather cruel tool that pierces the pike’s lower lip and can cause serious damage and scars. Weighing a heavy pike using a lip grip also puts way too much pressure on the fish’s lip. Instead, use a net for landing the fish and a big bag or a sling, as well as a proper fishing scale in order to weigh it.

Make sure your camera has a self-timer

If you are fishing by yourself, you will want to take a picture of that big old pike when you get it. But trying to take a good photo while holding up a long and heavy fish is anything but easy. Luckily, many modern cameras and mobiles have a self-timer in them. Make sure you have one of those!

Bring a hand towel

Pike are called snot rockets for a reason! They can be extremely slimy and handling them will leave a lot of that slime on your hands. Washing it off in the water will do only so much, which is why you should always have a hand towel with you when fishing for pike. It makes handling your gear after a catch a lot easier.

Get a big enough fishing scale

I have seen many scales reaching their maximum weight when a big pike has been caught. That’s why it is crucial that you have a big enough scale. If you catch that giant northern pike, surely you will want to know its exact weight, don’t you? A digital scale that can weigh a maximum weight of 50lb is definitely not inappropriate for pike fishing, go for it! If you want to get a really reliable and accurate fishing scale, you can find one on Amazon here.

Use a weigh sling

Weighing your pike in a sling or a big Ikea bag (one of those blue ones) is much better than hanging the fish right onto the scale. A big sling or bag will fit even the biggest and fattest of pike and makes weighing such a fish much easier as well.

Use armor gloves to handle pike mouths

Those teeth are no joke! A pike’s mouth is filled with up to 700 razor-sharp teeth and they can certainly cause major damage to your hands and fingers. Armor gloves, or steel gloves, do an excellent job of protecting your hands both during a chin grip and when handling the fish on land.

You can read all about the northern pike’s amazing set of teeth in this article I wrote on the subject: Northern Pike Teeth (Facts And Pictures)

Don’t forget to bring a wire cutter

If a pike is hooked too deeply, you sometimes have to cut your wire trace in order to be able to put your remaining end tackle aside and solely focus on those hooks in the pike’s mouth. A wire cutter can assist you in such a situation, cutting your trace swiftly and easily.

Get a jaw spreader

Pike have extremely powerful jaws and trying to open up that mouth with your hands can both be very difficult and dangerous. A jaw spreader is a strong enough tool to separate the pike’s jaws, and, perhaps even more importantly, to keep them apart so that you can unhook the fish safely and smoothly.

Use long nose pliers

Long nose pliers are the absolute best and most important tool when it comes to pike fishing. These pliers will ensure a safe and easy unhooking of the fish, no matter how deep it is hooked. You will both be able to reach the hooks and get a firm grip on them. Whoever came up with the idea of using this tool for big pike mouths should get a medal, for sure! Find the best pliers for pike mouths on Amazon here.

Use a big enough float for live bait

A common mistake that beginners make far too often is that they put on a float that is too light for the live bait they are using. If the bait gets too lively or mobile, it will simply pull down the float, which in turn messes up your bite indication. Now, the amount of grams on a predator float does not really say all that much, for example, a 20g float or bobber can handle a baitfish that weighs much more than 20 grams. That weight indication is merely telling you how much weight you can put on your line in order to cock the float into position. So, do not focus too much on it when it comes to baitfish size vs float size. Instead, simply use common sense and do some testing. If the baitfish manages to pull the float under, size up!