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mainbutter

how to hold a northern?

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Is it really standard to hold a northern in the gills? I've always thought that's a good way to 1) get yourself bit and 2) isn't it bad for the fish, if you're doing catch and release? I mean I wouldn't want to be held by my lungs.

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If you do it right, you are not holding the fish by the gills but rather the gill plate. You certainly do not want to slide your fingers in the gills, but if you lift up the gill plate, you can slide your fingers in right beside the fishes lower jaw. It is probably the safest way to hold one in my opinion. I see lots of guys hold the fish by clentching down on the gill plates on both sides with their hand over the head and I cringe when I see it. I think that has a much higher chance of damaging the fish than holding under the gill plate.

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To remove hooks on smaller pike I put my hand over the back of the fish and slide my fingers up under the gill plate. Just barely under the gill plate but above the actual gills there's a hardened area I tend to hold the fish by. With the gill plates popped open they tend to keep their mouth open. Here's a picture of my old man when he got his finger stuck in there (not under the gills, just at the "pinch point" where the gill cover connects at the top):

n13914896_39505649_2429.jpg

As far as holding for a picture, you want your hands curled under the gill cover toward the outside of the fish, and just support the fishes head. Most of the fishes weight is supported by your other hand.

n13914896_41501645_4109.jpg

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Nice posts guys. I've always wondered what peoples methods are for properly handling a large pike. +1 for the TOOL shirt. YEAH!

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You want to hold that fish by the jawbone and make sure to keep your fingers out of the gills, both for the fishes sake, and for yours. The jawbone hold is the best for the health of the fish, and also the best for hiding your hands, which looks much better in pictures. Hold the left jawbone of the fish with your left hand, and support the middle of the fish with your right hand...then roll the fish forward (tipping the top of the back slightly toward the camera) to minimize how much your hands show, and maximize the fish as the main subject. Hope this helps...

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Oh it still happens, just seen the eyeball grab in a pike picture claiming catch and release.

Few days ago I was at a sporting goods store, duck hill or something like that and seen the "Little Billy" I asked the help what it was for and the answer was "Clubbing pike and musky stunning them so you can get the hooks out". I don't think that young man was real excited to talk with me after I explained who I was. crazy

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Why would you want that? Those 20 inchers usually put up the better fight in the boat than in the water, it'd take all the excitement out of catching them.

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It's sad really. However I do agree with it during ice fishing, when you're keeping the fish. I think it's more humane to stun/kill them than letting them flop around on the ice.

Before I started working at Gander, they had a giant poster up with a kid holding a pike by the eyes, I was kind of shocked by it.

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"Some people...even shot 'em" - who said it?

That would be Al Linder as he is handling a pistol and clicks off a dry chamber.

It was either in Musky Mechanics or The Greatest Musky Film Ever Made.

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Oh it still happens, just seen the eyeball grab in a pike picture claiming catch and release.

Few days ago I was at a sporting goods store, duck hill or something like that and seen the "Little Billy" I asked the help what it was for and the answer was "Clubbing pike and musky stunning them so you can get the hooks out". I don't think that young man was real excited to talk with me after I explained who I was. crazy

Jonny P who are you?

Anyways the little billy has been around forever. my dad even has one in his tackle box. I think more for novelty purposes than anything

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Jonny P who are you?

One of the most outspoken catch and release musky/pike guys in the area, and I did alot of outspeaking when I was told that was the only way handle a big fish. Surprised they didn't use the little billy on my noggin to stun me down a little. laugh

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Originally Posted By: MuskieMojoTackle

"Some people...even shot 'em" - who said it?

That would be Al Linder as he is handling a pistol and clicks off a dry chamber.

It was either in Musky Mechanics or The Greatest Musky Film Ever Made.

The Greatest Musky Film Ever Made.

Love that guy

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horizontal is abig key/ vertical is very stressfull for all fish. when holding the gill plate, don't let your hands slide in to far, it gats really really sharp up there. small razor sharp slices makes for a big red mess. It has made some cool pictures showing the pike got a little revenge too!

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