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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think so!! After a cold weekend out east this was the only fish I caught. Caught at 11:30 at night, less than 20 degrees out, very shallow. I hooked the fish in the upper right corner of the mouth, got the hook out painlessly and flipped the fish over to see this. For a split second my heart dropped thinking somehow I did it but there is no way. A recent injury like that would have blood everywhere. It had a wound in its lip too as you can see. I think this 30" pike may have been attacked by another toothy beast at some point. Fish swam right off. Had I thought I caused the injury I would have kept it but I'm confident it's been surviving like that

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My experience it won't last long. I had a 42 incher with less damage go straight to the bottom and belly up. That one is torn pretty bad!!!
But what caused the damage? I caught the fish like this, so it must have been doing okay. I hope it survived but not much I could have done anyways, I'd rather watch it swim off with a chance than sitting in my cooler with no chance! If I hook a bass or eye in the gills even slightly there is usually blood coming out. I'd think an injury like this, if recent, would have blood pooring out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
However, the research showed that pike/muskies had over 50% survival even with excessive gill bleeding or tearing. Hard to believe but it definitely made me feel better. Nice fish btw!
I believe it, pike and muskie are tough fish. Definitely a bummer when you release a fish not sure if it will survive. I think it made it though, put up a fight and then swam off fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nice fish, I had wondered how you did. The way pike are expanding their numbers there killing some is no big deal. Normally if they were over 25" I would always let them go. But if they are hurt just make that one of the few you keep each year.
I didn't do well lol It was cold out there. The dam was pretty hard to fish. Would have done better if I put the boat on. I am not really a fan of fish, I've never tried pike, but I wasn't in the position to go and clean a 30" fish that night either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
At least you beat the skunk and that's a pretty good fish too. I have caught an occasional fish with damaged gills. I guess it's like surviving with a punctured/damaged lung...
Yep beat the skunk! Can't believe I didn't catch a single catfish though. That's how I see it though, a damaged lung. Since they have like 6 of them one should be able to go down... Now if it was a slimer it'd be a different story
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That picture makes me feel better fordo! I think pike are pretty tough. Yeah snagged up I was fishing a wind blown cove and didn't see the fish again the next 2 days. I'd rather give it a chance than no chance
 
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