Categories Fishing in Canada, Fishing in Europe, Fishing in the U.S., Fishing Tips


The north pike is among the world’s many common and also popular freshwater predators. It can be discovered all over the northern hemisphere and also is fished because that by numerous anglers. Big pike over 30lb room the ingredient that dreams are made of as soon as it pertains to sportfishing, thus fish are exceptionally beautiful and also majestic creatures.

The north pike (Esox lucius) is a predatory freshwater fish that has actually an aerodynamic, torpedo-shaped body. The pike inhabits both lakes and also river systems in Europe, phibìc America, and parts of Asia. It deserve to reach a maximum length of 60” and also a maximum weight of about 60lb.

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This article will offer you every the facts around the apex predator the is the pike and provide you with an excellent images of this exceptional fish.

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What does a north Pike look at Like?

Courtesy that Sam Urey Perch Angler

Body Shape

The northern pike has actually a very aerodynamic, torpedo-like body shape that it creates at a really early phase in that life. This slender body shape provides the pike a an extremely fast and effective predator.

This shape, coupled through the shape of its head, a rather large back, and also a rather dark human body coloration provides that the pike bear a certain, if faint, resemblance to an alligator, which possibly partly explains its prehistoric and somewhat frightening picture as an apex predator.


Courtesy that Nathan Edgell

Most commonly, the north pike has an olive environment-friendly to dark-green colored body the is dotted v yellow or white bean-shaped spots or short bars top top its flanks.

Similar to these spots or bars, its belly is of white or yellowish color.


The pike’s fins are regularly of a deep red or brown color and are significant by either irradiate or dark it s as beautiful as picture spots, or present that sometimes look prefer someone has drawn them there.

Teeth & Mouth

If the north pike is well-known for anything, it’s for its plentiful razor-sharp teeth. A pike’s mouth has up come 700 teeth of varying patterns and sizes. Some bigger specimens deserve to have fang-like this that room close to 1 inch in length.

Its mouth, which, quite surprisingly, bot resembles that of one alligator and that that a duck, is rather big and have the right to be opened exceptionally wide, permitting the pike to grab and also swallow both huge and deep-bodied prey fish.


As the pike is mostly a sight hunter, it consequently has actually rather big eyes. So huge in fact, that they can often look disproportionately large to its body size.

These big eyes offer the pike a very big field the vision, i beg your pardon it normally uses to its advantage when searching for prey. Of course, water clarity plays critical role here.

More frequently than not, you will find larger pike populaces in fingerprint water, as it makes it easier for the pike to find food in together conditions.

When having recorded a pike, look deeply right into its eyes! Sometimes, friend can capture a glimpse of its old predatory history, together this fish has actually roamed the waters the the planet for many millennia!

Average and Maximum Length and also Weight of Pike

Depending on whereby in the civilization you are recording them, the average and also maximum dimension of the pike in your regional waters can differ slightly. In phibìc America, that is somewhat lower than in Europe and parts that Asia.

Here is a basic data arsenal of the pike’s average and maximum length and weight:

Average Length20-30 inches(50-75 cm)
Maximum Length59 inches(150 cm)
Average Weight5-12 lb(2-5 kg)
Maximum Weight63 lb(28.4 kg)

Of course, that is more than likely a certainty that somewhere out there in the world, there space larger and also heavier pikes swimming roughly that have actually not been caught or videotaped yet!

Where can You find Northern Pike?

Courtesy that Andre Charron

The north pike is a fish species that deserve to be discovered all over the northern hemisphere, making it the only varieties of the Esox genus through a circumpolar distribution, an interpretation that it has spread approximately or near the earth’s whole north pole region. As such, it deserve to be discovered in every one of the northern hemisphere’s continents.


The pike is Europe’s most common and popular predator game fish. There are literally millions and millions that pike anglers who fanatically fish for pike all year round, making use of all varieties of different fishing techniques and also methods.

It have the right to be uncovered in essentially every europe country and also all over the british Isles. You can record pike indigenous the north parts that Scandinavia to the many southern parts of Italy, Spain, and Greece.

It is also really common fish in the east European states and in the totality of Russia, including Siberia in the really northeast that the country.

Some the the biggest European pike can be uncovered in the Netherlands, England, and also Germany.

North America

The north pike is a an extremely common and also popular fish in the US and also Canada. It have the right to be found in 32 united state states.

American pike deserve to be caught in parts of Alaska and also Maine in the north parts the the country, in the great Lakes regions and the states bordering them, as well as in the southern parts of the States, such as the northern parts that Texas and Arizona.

It is additionally a common fish in plenty of Canadian provinces, other than for british Columbia and the maritime locations of east Canada, where it is rare.


As the pike can be discovered all over the north hemisphere, it naturally likewise made its means into components of the eastern continent.

Here, it deserve to most typically be found in The western nations of the eastern continent, such as Georgia and also Kazakhstan, and the western components of Mongolia and also China.

Are there Other species of Pike?

Southern Pike

By Syrio – own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The southern pike (Esox cisalpinus) is a in different way colored different of the usual northern pike, which to be only freshly classified as an own types (in 2011).

This type of pike exhibits miscellaneous patterns that bars or lines everywhere its body, as opposed come the north pike’s spots. The southerly pike likewise has under scales along its lateral line (101-115) than does the north pike (125-148).

The southern pike is aboriginal to the northern parts of Italy, as well as southeastern France and also Switzerland.

As it appears to be an extremely closely concerned its north counterpart, the southerly pike can reach roughly the exact same length and weight together the northern pike.

Chain Pickerel

By Hellion102792 – own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The chain pickerel (Esox niger) is indigenous to north America and also closely pertained to the various other two pickerels (Esox americanus), which space the redfin pickerel and also the grass pickerel.

This form of pike only has actually a slightly various pattern from the of the northern pike and also is the kind of pickerel the most frequently gets confused with the common pike.

These two varieties do no differ all that much in body coloration, but the chain pickerel’s spots, unlike the north pike’s, run right into each other, forming the pattern of a chain. This is the main feature to look because that in a chain pickerel.

Another one is size, as north pike grow to it is in much larger than chain pickerel, which have the right to only with an approximate weight of 8-9lb.

This form of pike have the right to be caught along the whole North American eastern coast, from southern Canada in the north all the method down come Florida and westwards to the state of Texas. The is additionally native to Lake Michigan and also the lower parts that the great Lakes.

Amur Pike

By Andshel – very own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

The amur pike (Esox reichertii) is a rather exotic-looking member that the Esox household which is aboriginal to the Amur River device in eastern Asia.

It likewise goes under the name black-spotted pike, which have the right to be described by its quite unusual pattern of black spots anywhere its silvery body.

These spots make it clearly distinguishable native the north pike, apart from the fact that the usual pike is not discovered in this area of the world.

The amur pike have the right to reach a maximum weight of 30lb, making the somewhat smaller sized than the common pike.

Back in 1968, it to be actually presented to Glendale Lake in Pennsylvania (USA) where it conveniently started to it is adapted to its new environment.

Unfortunately, though, the whole stock was lost in the summer of 1976 and since that year, there have actually been no more attempts to introduce this pike types to north American waters.

Origins the The northern Pike

It stays somewhat unsure when and also where the north pike very first started to appear. Research says that the is likely that the genus Esox originated on the phibìc American continent, sometime during the last interglacial duration (around 2.2 million years ago), and not ~ above the Eurasian continent, together previously argued by scientists.

From there, it then made its means through Alaska, over the Bering floor bridge, and into the territory known as today’s Russia.

From Russia, that then spread to and also populated the lakes and also rivers the pretty lot the entire Eurasian and also European continent.

When execute Pike Spawn?

The spawning period of the northern pike follow me from march to beforehand May, relying on local air and also water temperatures, i m sorry will have to reach at the very least 9 degrees C (48 degrees F).

If the water temperature all of sudden drops below 6 degrees C (43 degrees F), the set eggs will not hatch, giving the pike’s offspring a much-increased price of survival.

This evolution feature, coupled with the massive amount that eggs the a female pike deserve to lay, has actually resulted in solid and resistant pike populaces in water systems anywhere the world, in spite of the truth that countless of the young dice at a rather young age.

Male pike arrive at the breeding grounds weeks prior to the females do and also tend to continue to be for days, or also weeks, ~ the spawning conference is completed, which additional aids the pike’s survival chances.

What Do northern Pike Eat?

Being a carnivorous fish, the pike mostly eats all sorts of food fish. This can incorporate the following:

In Europe

roachruddperchsmaller breamsmaller tenchsmaller pike

In north America

minnowchadsuckersflatheadsciscoscreek chubshinerssmaller basssmaller walleyesmaller pike

Northern pike have the right to be cannibalistic, i m sorry is why I contained smaller pike in the lists, this is in reality a rather usual phenomenon in countless waters and explains the enormous quantities of eggs the pike room laying.

Especially offered the truth that there even is some sibling cannibalism among juvenile pike.

When they space not feasting on each other, or when herbal prey fish are scarce, lock can additionally turn to various other sources that food. Such can encompass the following:

smaller water birdswater ratswormsinsectsleechescrayfishfrogs

How come Fish for north Pike?

The northern pike is just one of the world’s most popular game fish and millions the anglers an international are targeting this freshwater predator each and every year. Hence, there room plenty of fishing techniques to use in order to capture pike.

No issue which style you go for, however, constantly make certain to placed on a wire- or very strong fluorocarbon leader, together pike can quickly bite through any form of typical mainline.

Spin Fishing

Spin fishing is probably the most renowned fishing an approach when it comes to capturing pike. In current years, the pike bait and lure market has actually virtually exploded, and also there are currently various species of pike lures easily accessible for purchase.

You can spin fish because that pike using:

soft bait lureshard bait lurescrankbaitsjerkbaitsspinnerbaitsspoonsjigs

Float Fishing

This is a more passive and subtle method to fish because that pike. Generally, to rise or bobber fishing for pike will require a rather hefty float or bobber (15-40g), in stimulate to existing your dead or live bait at the appropriate depth.

Trust me, there is no better feeling 보다 seeing that big float pop under prefer it was a table tennis ball and disappearing into the depth, together a large pike has taken your bait and also swims off with it. What a thrill!

Fishing on The Bottom

This is a great method for winter pike once the fish are at a better depth and also less energetic than throughout the rest of the year.

Ledgering because that pike way fishing top top the bottom utilizing a load to store your dead or live bait on or just over the lake or river bottom. As you don’t have a intuitive indication, such together a float, when you get a take, girlfriend will need to have actually some type of bite indicator.

This have the right to be either a hanger or bobbin or a bite alarm, which friend will have in mix with a stick pod or bank sticks.


This is another really commonly practiced method to fish because that pike v lures or live bait. The only difference is that you will be needing a boat.

Trolling simply method that you have actually your lines drawn through the water behind a relocating boat. Friend can conveniently use a boat engine, rows (for sluggish trolling), or merely drift with the assist of the wind.

As girlfriend don’t have to cast out and also reel in her line, you can fish with number of rods in the water, thereby boosting your opportunities of recording fish.

Ice Fishing

In parts of the northern hemisphere, ice fishing is a commonly practiced method to fish for pike throughout winter, and also a really fun one in ~ that.

You can ice fish more actively through one rod and also a lure, or more passively through a pair of rods (or tip-ups) and also live bait.

The latter gives you the benefit of extending a better area on the ice, which boosts your chances of actually finding the pike and also getting bites.

Insider tip: Always make sure to a) have at least one fishing buddy v you, b) make certain the ice is thick enough to lug you, c) wear ice cream picks and d) drill a huge enough hole (big winter pike are fat)!

What Is the best Northern Pike ever before Caught?

The official All-Tackle human being record north pike was recorded in Germany a long time ago. It to be a massive fish that 55lb 1oz the was caught in Lake Grefeern ~ above October 16th, 1986.

According to local sources, the fisherman who recorded this monster, German angler Lothar Louis, originally head out to fish because that carp and roach. Throughout his session, he observed a substantial pike in his swim and also decided to go for that instead.

Good point he did, wasn’t it! Imagine what one little decision in one’s life can lead to! In Lothar’s case, it to be a world record pike the has overcame the document list for now practically 35 years.

Surely though, there have to be enlarge pike out there?

Why Is It dubbed a northern Pike?

Let’s take it a closer look in ~ the pike’s name and also dissect it:


The word north in northern pike plainly has a geographical meaning, as the north pike is primarily found in the northern hemisphere (even the southerly pike is geographically belonging to the north).

Research says that the pike’s circulation is restricted to the north hemisphere, as result of the reality that


The word pike is a center English term, which was a pole-weapon and literally way “pointed”. Middle English was spoken between the year 1055 and also 1500.

As the northern pike must have had actually a clear resemblance come this old weapon, civilization who were catching and also eating it began to name the species pike.

Other surname for north Pike

Depending on where in the world you live, the pike can have plenty of different names. Right here are a couple of examples from around the globe:

United Kingdom

The north pike is a really popular game fish in the unified Kingdom. Many commonly, the is simply dubbed a “pike” or “jack”.

In the olden days, the pike was often referred to together “luce” (fully get an impression pike) or “Luci” (young pike) once being used in Middle period heraldry. This nickname would at some point be supplied to form its Latin name Esox lucius.


In Germany, common names because that pike can encompass “freshwater crocodile”, “Esox” or “water wolf”. In German, the pike is called “Hecht”.


In Sweden, the north pike is sometimes referred to together a “slime cucumber”. The sweden word because that pike is “gädda”.


As the pike is among the most generally fished for types in Russia, it is a really popular fish, which walk under the surname “Shchuka” in Russian.

USA & Canada

Here, the pike probably has actually its widest range of different names. Depending on the region, it have the right to be called:

common pikelakes pikegreat northern pikenorthernsnakeslough sharksnot rocketslimergatorjackjackfish

Why Are north Pike dubbed Jackfish?

In both the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., the northern pike is periodically referred to together jack or jackfish. This nickname actually has quite an amazing story come it.

Legend has actually it that the British explorer Alexander MacKenzie, while exploring the newly found American west, rental a cook to accompany him on his travels.

That chef was named Jack. Jack to be a passionate fisherman who favored to fish for pike, which, throughout those times, was an ext than plentiful in the lakes and also rivers of north America.

As that was recording plenty the pike all the time, he naturally served it commonly at supper time. So lot so, that MacKenzie and his guys started to contact the served pike for Jack’s fish, or merely jackfish.

Unfortunately, that is not mentioned if they additionally got fed up through eating pike every the time, so one have the right to only speculate.

Essential tackle Tips

If you’re searching for solid and reliable pike fishing equipment, this tips might be valuable for you.

The complying with tackle is of optimal quality and sells in ~ a very decent price top top Amazon:

Rod: Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Rod

A versatile and also beautifully do medium-heavy 7′ baitcasting rod that’s perfect for bigger predators. Casts anything up to 2 ounces very well. Has actually an great balance, action, and also sensitivity.

Reel: Piscifun Alijoz 300 Baitcaster

An affordable high-performance baitcaster reel with amazing strength. Casts supervisor smoothly and will critical you forever! provides for a good pike combo in addition to the Piscifun Torrent rod.

Mainline: Power agree Spectra

One that the ideal braids easily accessible today. Zero stretch, good feel, and immense stamin make this line the perfect choose for pike in both open and also snaggy waters. Placed on a 30lb test and you’re good to go.

See more: Here Comes The Boom Common Sense Media, Here Comes The Boom

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