Fish Profile: Northern Pike

Northern Pike have very long bodies with a tiger-like pattern. They have dark green bodies with light spots and stripes. The pattern they have helps them camouflage in the weeds. They have white bellies. Their mouth is like a weapon in the sense that it is lined with sharp teeth that could easily take a finger off. They have large caudal fins and can swim quite fast when they want to. The average weight of these fish is 2-4 pounds but they can easily grow to more than 15 pounds. The females are usually bigger than the males.

Northern pike are found across Canada and in many places in the northern hemisphere. Northern pike like to live in shallow lakes. During the warm summer months pike usually hang around in the shallow water around fallen trees and weeds. When they are near a fallen tree or a pile of stick they look a lot like a log because of their body shape. When it gets cold in the winter pike usually go down into the deeper water until they have to spawn again in early spring.

Northern pike are carnivores, because they have such sharp teeth they can eat other fish, ducks, frogs, mice and snakes. They are the biggest predator out of all the fish in the lake. They eat yellow perch and minnows. If the lake were to run out of resources for them to eat, they would resort to cannibalism and eat their own offspring. They can be quite aggressive towards other animals. There are even stories of them eating another fish off of a fisherman’s hook.

Right after winter when the ice has just melted is when these fish like to spawn. They spawn when water temperatures reach about 5 degrees Celsius. They spawn in the shallow waters of lakes near weeds. Pike mature within their second or third year of being alive. Before the spawn pike feed a lot which it is why pike are good for ice fishing. The female usually releases less than one hundred eggs but spawn more than once with more than one male. After the female deposits her eggs and they are fertilized the males waits there for a couple of weeks afterwards.

Some anglers love to catch pike and others hate it. Normally people don’t keep their pike because they have a lot of tiny bones so you need to be very skilled at filleting them to make sure there are as little bones as possible. Some people actually pickle pike so the bones just dissolve over time. This is supposedly quite tasty when done correctly. It is important to use a metal leader if you are planning on catching a pike since they


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