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Chode2235

How do you handle pike/musky/toothy fish from your canoe or kayak

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I was out this past weekend walleye fishing with a friend of mine in his boat. We were fishing on a lake that I frequently fish out of my kayak. Long story short, I tied into a 40" musky. We scooped it up in his huge net, and released it.

Now I have been thinking, what would I have done had I hooked into that guy in my kayak? A net like that is too big to use, especially by myself. I have never used a gripper or anything like that, are they the best option?

What do you all do when dealing with big toothy fish in your little boats?

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I was fortunate to tangle with a big pike a few years back. Fortunate that I didn't hook it anyway! I was fishing for bass and crappies, and tied into what I was sure was a 5-6 lb largemouth. I felt the tap, set the hook, and then it ran and steered to deeper water. It actually pulled me along, like I was a big bobber! I worked it for a few minutes, till it was right below me. I looked over the side and saw that I'd hooked a 12 inch largemouth...that was gripped sideways by a huge pike. Only about an inch or two of the tale and head were sticking out each side of its mouth. She'd run a bit and dive deeper, and I could feel her chopping at the bass. I thought if she swallows it, I could land it! Then I remembered where I was...in a kayak! What could I possible do to land that monster? We played tug-o-war for a few minutes more and she let go. I reeled in the mangled bass, let my heart rate return to normal, and slipped the largemouth back as an offering to a great experience.

I don't know if I could have landed that fish without capsizing. I imagine you could play the fish, using your 'yak like a big bobber (think Jaws...'two barrels in her now!'..cpt. Quint). But you'd be stressing the fish near to death before landing it. I've thought perhaps keeping a side cutters handy would be good. Get her along side and then cut the hook or the line.

Anyone have other ideas? Great question!

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I've caught a few pike and a small muskie from the yak. I use a lip gripper, keep most of the fish in the water, grap it with the gripper , unhook it and let it go. I get alot of my stuff online through - Hook 1 kayak fishing gear -

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The largest fish i have ever caught was a pike from a canoe. I threw up on a cliff face in Quetico Provincial Park in Canada. The wind started to blew up out from the face so I let the bait drag out over deeper water. Then thump, thump, boom and it was on. 15 minutes later it surfaces quickly, shower my brother in the back of the canoe before he could get a look. 10 more minutes of fighting produced what at first looked like a giant green log. It turned out to be a pike we roughly measured at 41".

I was faced with your same issue. So I grabbed it by the tail with one hand, then set my rod down to get my other hand under its head. Then I lifted it into the canoe and popped the hooks free.

(We were both in sandals and as soon as I set the fish in the bottom of the canoe to catch my breath, my brother saw the huge teeth hanging from its face. He start screaming "get that poorwordusage thing out of the boat." I guess it got too close to my brothers toes.)

Tail grab them and lift them over. This works in the canoe but may not work in smaller yaks.

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It gets dangerous when you have someone else in the boat, they over react and before you know it the fish is back in the lake... along with you and all of your stuff. smile

I actually feel pretty 'lucky' that I haven't had to tangle with a big pike or musky from my kayak or canoe yet. But fishing where I do it is practically inevitable if I spend enough time out there.

I just want to be prepared.

I posted this question on another board too, and the response that I got was to carry a small towel or rag, wet it and cover the fish's eyes while at the boat. That keeps them from thrashing around. But I think I will need to invest in a bigger set of pliers, and a lip gripper at a minimum.

Any of you use a lip gripper, or net?

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My main rule is never use treble hooked pike or musky baits in my kayak/floattube. I was glad I was practising that last year as I hooked a tiger musky on a single hooked buzzbait last year in my kayak and I had it alongide and was getting my camera ready, it leaped AND LANDED RIGHT ON MY LAP! Its business end was you know where! if it had a big jerkbait or something on him I could have been hosed big time!

Well it didn't work last year, but my musky from the yak plan is get the fish up close and snap a few pics, then use a long pliers and get the hook out with the fish still in the water.

If you were wanting to keep one, I think you should have a gaff and a club handy, you don't want a live ski or big pike in your yak!

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I use a lip gripper pretty often. It's a much safer way to get a handle on fish of good size and with sharp teeth!

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Does anyone remember the part off Grumpier Old Men where the two are fishing right before the wedding to catch the monster fish and the fish is pulling the boat across the water? I am just imagining that with a large enough musky and a guy in a canoe.

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The_Lee

no your not - crazy I-'ve been pulled 20 - 30 yards by a few bass at only 17 inches or so. My muskie wasn't much over 20 inches and surprisently didn't run or pull as much as the bass. But its always fun and interesting to be towed around laugh

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Being towed is the easy part, getting them unhooked and back into the deep alive and well, with me still having 10 fingers is important too.

I will probably go the route and outlaw trebles in my boats, as they could get to be a big mess. Cyberfish, are you putting single hooks on your crankbaits, etc? How does that work?

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Being towed is the easy part, getting them unhooked and back into the deep alive and well, with me still having 10 fingers is important too.

I will probably go the route and outlaw trebles in my boats, as they could get to be a big mess. Cyberfish, are you putting single hooks on your crankbaits, etc? How does that work?

Nope, I just don't use crankbaits, too dangerous! I might use a small rapala for walleyes, but for pike I just stick to spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, and plastics.

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Cyberfish...

I always wondered if you chased the toothy critters in the float tube, I figured if ya did ya must be somewhat crazy, a pike with a mouth full of trebles darting around your legs is just askin for trouble. Single hooks?, maybe ya ain't so crazy after all. smile

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Has Blue Kayak tied into a hog flat in his 'yak yet? We were razzin him about that possibility at last years KOTC gathering....

Jerry? what's the verdict? laugh

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Cyberfish...

I always wondered if you chased the toothy critters in the float tube, I figured if ya did ya must be somewhat crazy, a pike with a mouth full of trebles darting around your legs is just askin for trouble. Single hooks?, maybe ya ain't so crazy after all. smile

i'm kinda crazy, but i don't like PAIN! eekeek

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No trebles, play the fish, use a fish handling glove (provides some protection for the fish, and for your fingers), and leave them in the water when unhooking. I've caught a few big pike from my heritage redfish yak, and it is the best experience.

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i am a novice muskie angler but my that is the only fish my grandfather fishes for, he makes regular trips up to lake of the woods for weeks at a time targeting the monsters and they do not use nets. when they get them next to the boat they just rub the belly of the fish, he says it only takes a few seconds and they become almost comatose, if i caught one in a canoe this would be my plan of action, rub the belly untill they are so relaxed they are alomost paralyzed then unhook and release.

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I fish the Mississipi with a Crow Wing SOT, I use fireline on my reels so I do carry a sissors that can cut superlines. Why is that? Last year I got pulled around for a while then managed to get it to the surface. It came up about a foot from me hissing, a snapping turtle had gotten my tube bait caught in his mouth. He was about a 20 incher and really mad. All I could do was cut the line.

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You grab the pike by the back of the head. So your hand is over the gill plate. If you put the death grip on him it will be no problemo. Just make sure you grab the tail when you get her out of the water. In one day I caught a 39, 40 3/4, 41 1/2, and a 43" pike. Only the 43" I went to shore to land him.

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