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  • Writer's pictureNew Wave Fishing Academy

A Lesson In Proper Fish Handling

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

This past weekend was the first event of the 2023 Top 50 Pike series out of Parry Sound on Georgian Bay. In tournaments making the most out of the time you have is what separates the good from the great and can be the difference between wining and losing. This idea is why we found the story we will share below to be so awesome and worth sharing. We caught up with Anthony Gognavec of AGFishing on his catch of the tournaments big fish (44.5", 113.20 cm) and his own personal best following the event:

Giant Northern Pike From Georgian Bay
AG Fishing 44.5" Northern Pike Georgian Bay

"This catch is one I'll never forget. From blastoff my brother Andrew and I headed to one of our favorite spots 30-45 minutes away from blast off point. As we got into the bay and started fishing 3 more boats joined in. We fished for 10 mins, got our limit, and the big one around 9 am. The 3 other boats in the bay all caught a limit while we were there as well.

It wasn't an easy decision but given that we had just started fishing and weigh in wasn't until 3 PM my brother Andrew & I made the call to make the run back to weigh in right away to be sure the big girl could be released healthy. It may have been ok but we didn't want to risk its health by keeping it 6+ hours in the livewell. In previous tournaments we have had fish die from being in the livewell too long and these big fish seem to be affected by it more than the smaller ones. Despite how big and aggressive they are they are super fragile and so proper handling is extremely important. Last year we had a 40" pike caught around 11 am die by the time we reached weigh in and so that factored in heavily on our decision to make the run back early. From what we heard with other anglers the bite was hot between 8-10 but after that it was dead. Unfortunately we missed out on most of the bite while travelling back to weigh in but the fish swam away strong and lives to be caught another day so that is all that really matters."

What a cool story and incredible act of sportmanship from Anthony & Andrew. Maintaining the health of our fisheries starts with us anglers and how we handle the fish we catch. We can all take a lesson from the AG Fishing crew on putting the fish first. Congrats again on an incredible catch Anthony!

To connect with Anthony and Andrew to see more catches like this you can follow him on instagram @agfishingg or on his youtube channel at

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