Let me hold YOU by YOUR eyes...
Updated: Nov 1, 2019
It's archaic and just wrong to hold an esox by the eyes. For some strange reason people think that holding these fish by the eyes dose no damage to the fish and the reason for doing it is the fish to be still so they can release it. I'm pretty sure if I firmly hold YOU by YOUR eyes pushing on your brains you would be still as well.
Here is a recent photo of a pike I took that was previously held by the eyes to immobilize it which resulted in blinding this fish. It does leave permanent damage.
Fear is no excuse. We have plenty of inexpensive easy to use tools to help release these fish without the need to leave permanent damage to it's eye sight. Actually a secret I use every time is to let the fish rest in a large net where it has plenty of room to relax. Once you give the fish time to rest you can easily work on the mouth and the fish is more willing to open up and let you get the fly out. I'll be posting another blog post explaining just how to release these fish shortly. But for the love of fish in general, please stop letting your fear get to you and holding pike in this manor. I don't care if your grandfather did it that way... no excuse!