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So went out early mornin tuesday, 5 min after launching picked up my first pike 34", and 10 min later got the 43.5 took me almost 35-40 min to get him in the boat, was using 8lb line, and everytime i got him close to the boat/net he would take off, after taking the lure out of his mouth i proceeded to release him, but he just wouldn't go, tried reviving him for almost an hour.. no go, so i moved to a shalower part and stood in the water and also tried to revive him for a while,also no go, and then he stopeed breatin... poor fish, never had this happen to me but i belive the long fight is what got him..



rest of the day no luck until 6-8ish where i hit 9 pike and 5 bass
pike sizes:
43.5
34
31.5
28
27
26.5
26.0
24
23.6
22
20
bass sizes
19 ( this girl was a hog)
17.5
17
15
13

had no camera, but got a pic of the pike at home...
 

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Yea, a long battle like that can certainly be deadly, especially on a pike in warmer water. Kudos on the attempt. Open their jaws up, and try running water into their mouth and out their gils, it seems to work for me, but I donno about a 45 min battle on a piker in june.

Since it died anyway, did ya eat it, or mount it?
 

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I had the same thing happen to me on a 41 inch fish in Canada fishing for smallmouth. I was dragging Rapalas through the rocks on 10lb. mono. That nearly 20 lb. fish just wore me and the drag on my little bass reel out. After a 30 minute fight, brought her to the boat and realized the back hooks on my Rapala had lodged itself deep into her gills. Took almost an hour to realize she wasn't going to swim off on her own.

It's a shame, but not many fish live to be that size/age, and those that do, often don't live very long afterwards anyway.
 
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