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Hawgstoppah

Trying for big pike - what should I use for a netting / landing solution?

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I went to look at some bigger nets, all are either too small, or the ones that were big enough were made out of material I personally would never let a fishes scales ever touch. What do you guys use when fishing for big pike? I'm hoping to find some in the 20lb range (40-50" or better) if I get lucky. Thanks in advance for any advice! I'm also willing to build some sort of cradle if that worked best for any of you. I just want to know before I spend all the time making one if there is a better alternative. For context, this would be while fishing from a pontoon boat.

Cheers,

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A cradle works well if you're fishing with someone, however on your own they're very tough to use.  I found one at Bass Pro three years ago that's very large and had a fine rubberized mesh.  It was the only net I could find that would be big enough after going to a few different stores.

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Use a cradle all the time. Best way I have found to deal with big pike. I use mine by myself but like fishpro said it isn't the easiest. If you hold it at one end and let the two ends cross over each other it usually opens up enough at the other end to get the head of the pike going in. Lots of room for the fish. Lots of room to work if he takes the fly deep. 

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So would Bass Pro or Cabela's up in Calgary be my best bet to locate one? I can't really even find one on amazon. Thanks

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I've bought a couple from The Fishin Hole too, they generally seem to have them in stock.

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a buddy of mine built a cradle a couple of years ago and he closed off one end and jury rigged some handles on the other end, he said it works well.

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Common Brian, just lip it!! :laugh:

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Brian, I’ll be out and about for a bit today.  I could easily drop by Bass Pro and check out if they have a cradle net if you like let me know.

 

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I ended up going out and I learned one thing. I suck at catching big pike but I can catch walleye on a fly rod pretty good! I think we might have been a few weeks late for the big pike action , we did get several easily handled smaller ones and one around 10-12lbs that my buddy Paul got. Nice day to be out. I'll still be interested in finding a cradle for next season, I think I am kind of smitten by the pike fishing, they hit so hard and fight so hard too. The big one we got tore up the lake!

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Don't give up yet and keep in mind some of the rivers hold them too.......

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On 6/5/2020 at 7:39 PM, Hawgstoppah said:

I ended up going out and I learned one thing. I suck at catching big pike but I can catch walleye on a fly rod pretty good! I think we might have been a few weeks late for the big pike action , we did get several easily handled smaller ones and one around 10-12lbs that my buddy Paul got. Nice day to be out. I'll still be interested in finding a cradle for next season, I think I am kind of smitten by the pike fishing, they hit so hard and fight so hard too. The big one we got tore up the lake!

For pike in a pontoon, I would simply get accustomed to controlling via the 'gill grip'.  A cradle is great in a boat with a partner where you have a lot of lateral space to work with, but the 1m of real-estate between my legs is already filled with many things I wish to protect.  Nets are just horrible because pike almost always seem to thrash once removed from the water.   I have landed many 35+" fish with my pontoon boat. 

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For little guys I just grab em accross back of head and retrieve fly.

next size up to about 12-14 lbs I’ve used a grey glove , some kind of light chain mail. Grips those slippery buggers well.

Past that size glove doesn’t work as my hands not big enough and fish are too strong.

Next is cradle , get them in and orient them the right way that it’s reasonable to work on.

Big ones easily crunch down jaw spreaders and dwarf your baker hook outs making getting fly out a challenge and hard on the fish.

I will slide my hand under gill up to end of jaw getting no more than first 2 knuckles in. Any more and you will be a bleeder for sure after momma does a head shake or 2 as there are many teeth.

Anyhow , hand under gill, head up, fish in control, hook quickly out and ready for a quick pic.

Back in cradle for revival and off she goes.

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3 hours ago, eagleflyfisher said:

I will slide my hand under gill up to end of jaw getting no more than first 2 knuckles in. Any more and you will be a bleeder for sure after momma does a head shake or 2 as there are many teeth.

This is my experience as well---even their darn gills have teeth.  Over a day of good pike fishing, I find it almost impossible to entirely avoid getting a few tooth nicks, but even little nicks really should be like big cuts because pike mouths are nasty.  I have required antibiotics twice.  

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