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  1. #1
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    Default Pike anticoagulant - fact or fiction?

    I am in the process of gearing myself up to do a spot of pike fishing for the first time and one thing that has cropped up several times is the fact that any cuts to the fingers while unhooking a fish are likely to bleed profusely. On more than one occasion this has been put down to the fish producing an anticoagulant.

    I can find no reverence in fact to this anywhere. Logic tells me there is no need for a pike to produce such a substance and if it does, where is it coming from. It has been said that it is in the saliva... As far as I know fish don't make saliva - do they?

    Could it be that the bleeding is made to look worse because the hands are wet, and possibly cold? Could it be because the injury is lots of small deep but fine cuts?

    The only other thing that has occurred to me is that the fish slime might have some anticoagulant properties? If so why?

    Just curious.

    Ralph
    Hmmm... Where did that one go?

    My fishing blog

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pike anticoagulant - fact or fiction?

    Whether they produce it or not I have no idea but I have suffered plenty of nicks that have bled for ages having to be wrapped up in a bit of old towel and tape its an occupational hazard if you fish for pike, I don't like using a glove for holding pike why? no idea just feels better with the bare hand.
    •The crow may be caged, but its thoughts are in the cornfield

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pike anticoagulant - fact or fiction?

    What an interesting question!

    I have done some (very) quick research and here is my progress:

    Is Anticoagulant in fish's saliva?
    No, fish do not produce saliva

    -> Must be something about composition of fish -> fish oil?

    Is Fish Oil an Anticoagulant?

    Read:
    Fish oil thins blood and prevents platelets from sticking together
    We are getting somewhere!

    -> Why pike? -> how much fish oil is in fish? ->

    Fish oil

    Read:
    Fatty predatory fish like sharks, swordfish, tilefish, and albacore tuna may be high in omega-3 fatty acids. (...) The various species range from lean to fatty and their oil content in the tissues has been shown to vary from 0.7% to 15.5%.
    Considering information above and that Pike is a predatory fish my conclusion is that its mucus is high in fish oil (fatty acids) which then thins blood and prevents from wounds healing.

    Interestingly while looking for this info I found many mentions that Tech ale the "Doctor fish" and apparently if you put some of Tench's mucus on the wound it would heal much faster.

    Yet another reason to love tench!

    Obviously this is just my wild researching, I might look into it in more detail once off work.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pike anticoagulant - fact or fiction?

    I always thought that this was a fact, though I cannot remember where I ever read it.

    Nonetheless, fact or fiction, cuts from handling pike do indeed bleed profusely, and cuts from the teeth (which for me are quite rare) seem to bleed for an even longer period.

    I too am not a fan of gloves, I never use one. Bare hands are fine if you have experience. My main worry with gloves is that the glove, or the less sensitive handling because of the glove can lead to damaged fish.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pike anticoagulant - fact or fiction?

    Like others I find that cuts from pike bleed longer. I always wear a glove after having to go to hospital after my fingers got caught in the gill rakers.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pike anticoagulant - fact or fiction?

    I dont believe the anti coagulant bit but I do know a nick from a pike bleeds endlessly.
    I have a ET silver(woven chain mail type) glove. Thin enough to be agile. Stops the worst cuts if you are clumsy like me.

    I always take plasters with me.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pike anticoagulant - fact or fiction?

    I'm sure I read something bout this in relation to zander. IIRC it was something to do with an enzyme. All I know is that the smallest nick from a zander's teeth seems to bleed forever. I took a bit of a gash on the thumb from one once which, though not deep, just would not stop bleeding. I was frantic thinking I'd damaged the fish until I realised it was me dripping blood everywhere.

    I think there is some basis of truth in this....i'm a believer anyway.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pike anticoagulant - fact or fiction?

    I think it's something to do with how sharp the teeth actually are. Such a clean wound like a shaving cut doesn't stop bleeding for ages but cut yourself on something abit jagged etc and it is easier to control the bleeding. Just my thoughts.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pike anticoagulant - fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian bracket butwhy View Post
    I think it's something to do with how sharp the teeth actually are. Such a clean wound like a shaving cut doesn't stop bleeding for ages but cut yourself on something abit jagged etc and it is easier to control the bleeding. Just my thoughts.
    Exactly. Even if slime or whatever did contain anti-coagulant there's no way a significant amount would enter your bloodstream.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Pike anticoagulant - fact or fiction?

    I found this from an American publication

    "Pike are a toothy critter, and can cause damage to your hands if handled the wrong way so the first thing always needed is a great, strong pair of pliers in order to de-hook this type of fish properly. When bitten or pierced by a pike’s teeth, amongst the rows of razor sharp teeth exists a type of bacteria that is kind of like an anticoagulant. If you are bit this bacteria keeps the wound open for a period of time, so safe un-hooking should be practiced."

    I assume gillrakers have the same.

    True or false I just know cuts bleed more.

    Some one said it make the prey bleed more once bitten but I have had plenty of live baits bitten that have never bled.

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