RECORDING LENGTH….I see a new product at Bass Pro Shop called “fish tailer”. Can this be used to hold big pike calmly level on top of the water so that the length can be measured with the floating yardstick often called a “muskie stick”? . Its been many years since I take a big pike ( +40″) out of the water.for a pictures.since the pictures all look the same , but sometimes I like to record the length.

Posted on March 3rd, 2016

Hi Larry, “fish tailers” have been used for Atlantic Salmon in Europe for many decades. AFTCO is the one I am familiar with in North America,   I don’t know about their legality in North America when it comes to freshwater fishing. If you would be considering getting one you better check your local Sportfishing Regulations and call the appropriate Fish & Game office to confirm.


Fish Tailers do work, but I personally believe that a “cradle” is much better since there is no intense pressure put on any part of a fish. As soon as a fish feels the constraint of the “tailer”, it will start to struggle to get away. This can cause damage to the skin, and additionally to it’s vertebrae. With a live-release cradle, the cradle is lowered horizontally into the water so it’s completely wet, the fish is guided into the open cradle, the cradle is closed and kept in the water for the fish to breath continuously, and a rough measurement can be obtained with minimal stress to the fish (most cradles come with a tape measure on one of the handles).

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