The behaviour and survival of pike, Esox lucius L., released with a retained lure in the mouth was studied relative to control fish, which simulated line breakage prior to landing. Behaviour was monitored during the first hour post‐release with the aid of visual floats attached to the fish, and longer‐term for 3 weeks, by means of externally attached radio transmitters. Lure‐treated pike were less mobile during the first hour post‐release, but exhibited greater mobility and travelled further distances from the release area in the first 24 h after release than controls. From the second day after release, the behaviour of lure‐treated pike was similar to control fish. No mortality occurred in a 3‐week monitoring period. These results are indicative of only short‐term behavioural impairments resulting from a retained lure and rapid resubmission of normal behaviour after simulated break‐offs.
Fish were angled from the lake, floats and transmitters were placed on control group fish