When deadbait fishing, a take should be struck sooner rather than later to avoid deep hooking the fish. The pike should then be played firmly and brought as quickly as possible to the landing net to avoid over tiring the fish. A suitable large landing net should be used particularly from a boat.
When landed, the fish should be laid flat preferably on a protective mat and the hooks removed with a suitable tool such as long handled artery forceps or a long nosed pliers. Anglers may find it useful to wear protective gloves. Sometimes it can be easier to release the hooks by working very carefully through the gill covers.
The use of pike sacks can be used for the short time retention of fish enabling them to recover prior to weighing or photography. When weighing and photographing fish, the pike should be cradled and supported properly to avoid injuring the fish. A pike sized weigh sling should always be used if the fish is be weighed.
When being released, the pike should be held carefully in the water to promote recovery until it is ready to swim away. At all times, the pike should be returned to the water in the shortest possible time.