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  • Writer's pictureNew Wave Fishing Academy

Pike Attack: A Season Ending Mistake

Warning: Post Contains Graphic Images Of Injury

No matter what activities you spend your time doing there are risks and dangers to be prepared for, When it comes to fishing there's the water, shallow water hazards you can hit while boating, sharp hooks, and let's not forget the wild animals we are dealing with! Many species such as pike, walleye, and musky have numerous sharp teeth and gill rakers that can do damage in a hurry! As we become more experienced anglers and comfortable in these situations it is easy to stop thinking about the dangers or take them less seriously; but this is when risks become accidents. This is the exact situation we got ourselves into this past weekend and the consequences are serious. Check out the full story below and use us as an example of what can happen when you get too comfortable around risks!

Pike have been our favourite target species for quite some time now. We have handled hundreds over the past few years from as small as they come all the way up to sizes over 45". Pike have razor sharp teeth and gill rakers which poses risks of cuts while holding & unhooking them. Typically while targeting pike the baits used are big enough to keep them from swallowing the bait and making unhooking with a set of pliers easy. Unfortunately, pike also like biting bass and walleye baits which are typically smaller and can end up way down their throat.

This is what happened on our last trip this season.

pike attack severs finger tendon

Despite having all the tools onboard to remove my bait safely (spreaders, extra long handled pliers, landing gloves, hook removal tools) they were at the back of the boat while I was at the front. Since the bait I was using was just a single hook I figured the pair of pliers (not the extra long ones) I had at the front would be sufficient. While using the pliers to reach the bait the pike in hand thrashed and before I knew it there was blood and the pliers were stuck on its teeth by the rubber handle. Getting a cut while unhooking a fish is not uncommon so I continued to unhook & release the fish before dealing with the blood. After a quick rinse of my hand in the lake I knew this one was going to need stitches. With blood pouring all over the boat and soaking through the paper towels we headed into the hospital.

northern pike attack cut finger tendon

After the nurse finished cleaning up the wound (which had not stopped bleeding for the hour long duration) we noticed my finger tip was bent in a weird fashion and I could not move it. A quick look by the surgeon confirmed the tendon was completely severed! Not only would I need stitches in two different spots but also surgery to repair the tendon and regain use of my finger. My hand would also be placed in a splint to restrict movement which makes doing anything with it next to impossible.

With an expected heal time of 4-6 weeks and ice up around the corner this injury looks to be season ending. Had I not been so comfortable with the fish or took the extra few seconds to get the right tools I wouldn't be in this situation. The worst part? This injury ruined our plans for a walleye night fish and also the chance to get back on the water for some of the best trophy fishing days of the season.Use this as an example and learn from our mistakes, everything can change in the blink of an eye.

northern pike bites person finger tendon severed
Releasing The Pike That Bit Me

To experience a day of fishing on the water with us be sure to check out our YouTube channel at the link below.

If you or someone you know is looking to get into fishing or you just want to become a more successful angler be sure to check out our "Zero To Hero Fishing Masterclass" for courses on everything fishing! The masterclass is built to help you learn how to find and catch fish like the pro's by providing all the information you need and a clear development path! Don't miss out check it out now at

Have you ever wondered why lures don't come with instructions and wanted to know how to fish them? Look no further than our "How To Fish" series where you will learn what each bait is, how to use it, when and where it excels over other baits, our preferred setup to use it on, and the common mistakes anglers make when using it.


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