The Northern Pike – A Fish that Can Really Put Up a Fight

the northern pike

The Northen Pike, known as ”pike” in the US, is a carnivorous fish that usually lives in the freshwaters of the northern hemisphere, but also in the brackish waters of the Baltic Sea. It is a relatively large type of fish (between 23-30 inches long), and it weighs somewhere between 3.5 and 7.5 pounds. Its body is long and laterally compressed. It also has a flattened, broad snout and very sharp teeth.

While young, the fish feed on very small invertebrates, and later, when their body length grows to about 4 to 8 inches, pike start feeding on small types of fish. They are known as very eager predators.

Pike and Sport Fishing

Anglers simply love these fish, as they are seen as aggressive fighters and very popular game fish. Even more, northern pike are some of the easiest fish to catch, as they have an incredible appetite, and always strike the bait. You should also keep in mind that they like playing with their food, so be patient: even if the fish hits and then lets go of the bait several times, it will eventually catch on.

Small fish are probably the best bait for pike, but lots of countries have banned the use of the live ones. Still, pike can easily be caught by using dead fish, as well.

Pike caught by anglers usually weighs about 2-3 pounds, but a few amazingly large ones were caught sometimes too. In Finland, for example, „kymppihauki” (fish that weigh at least 22 pounds) can be sighted on rare occasions, and anglers who manage to catch one a qualify as master fishermen.

Catching and Releasing Northern Pike

Sometimes, these pike are caught for fun, and then released back into the water. If you are only fishing for fun, you should be careful about the way you handle the fish, so you don’t harm them. Your hands need to be wet, because handling them with dry hands may damage the mucous that covers their skin and the pike could die from infections. This practice (catch and release) has become really popular nowadays.

Other Interesting Facts

Pike is not only a sport fish, but also a commercial fish. Many people see it as an excellent type of food because of its white, mild-tasting flesh. Also, it can be sold both fresh and frozen.

Its cuisine history is more than famous: it is said that even the Romans used to eat northern pike. This variety of pike is very popular in many parts of the world, especially in Europe. There are hundreds of recipes for it, and many of those are really worth trying out.

If you love fishing, and you’re looking for a true challenge, you should definitely go for pike. For the most experienced anglers, catching such a fish is a real pleasure, and Northern pike will always be one of the most appreciated type of game fish, because of their energy and fighting skills.

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