Northern Pike

Northern Pike

World Record: 55 lbs 1oz
Lake of Grefeern, Germany
October 16th 1986
Length: 18-30
Found in: Lakes
Cool Waters 20C

Identification

The northern pike is a member of the pike family of fishes and has the following characteristics: A long, slender, laterally compressed body; A long, broad, flattened snout; The dorsal and anal fins are located at the end of the body near the tail; The back, upper sides and the top and upper parts of the head are a dark brilliant green through olive-green to almost brown; The sides are conspicuously marked with longitudinal rows of yellow to whitish bean-shaped spots; The underside is cream to milk-white; The dorsal, caudal and anal fins are green to yellow, sometimes orange or pale red, with irregular black markings. The paired fins are buff and usually unmarked

Habitat

The northern pike habitat is warm, slow, heavily vegetated rivers or the weedy bays of lakes. It spawns in the spring immediately after the ice melts. During spawning, they swim through the vegetated areas of shallow water and the eggs are scattered at random and attach to the vegetation. The eggs hatch in approximately 12 – 14 days. The young remain in the shallow spawning areas for several weeks after hatching. Young pike feed on larger zooplankton and immature aquatic insects until they reach about 5 cm (2 inches) in length, when fish becomes their main diet.

Diet

Northern pike lurk at the edge of weed beds and attacks unwary creatures that enter its domain, such as fish, crayfish, frogs, mice, muskrats and young waterfowl. It is an opportunist that can be best described as an omnivorous carnivore, as it feeds on whatever is most readily available.