Scientists have proved that catching summer pike causes them no harm.
German fisheries professor Robert Arlinghaus, together with his students and Canadian colleagues, has conclusively proved that pike recover from capture much faster than previously thought.
Summer lure-caught pike from Canada's Lake Opinicon provided the perfect subjects for the study, aimed at establishing which conservation measures anglers should adopt in order to best avoid harming pike stocks.
"Our study indicates that the exhaustive exercise of being played, coupled with air exposure of up to 300 seconds, doesn¹t lead to post-release mortality of shallow-hooked pike," said Robert.
"This latest investigation supports a previous study which demonstrated that deep-hooking, and its associated risk of bleeding, is the most significant cause of mortalities in caught-and-released pike, with the size and type of bait proving key.
"Fishing small deadbaits, spoons and soft plastics on slack lines is more likely to result in damaging deep-hooking than if anglers fish with larger baits," he added.
The German scientist¹s results have been well received by the UK¹s pike anglers, who always appreciate the guidance of concrete scientific evidence when it comes to fishing for their favourite species.
"The fact that no shallow-hooked pike died during this study is great news for angling. It proves how ridiculous the antis are when they claim that most caught-and-released fish die,² former PAC secretary and keen piker Mark Barrett told AT.
"Furthermore, these findings support virtually all the advice the PAC gives pike anglers in terms of how to responsibly fish for and handle these precious predators," he added.