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Pike Fish

Last updated date: 20th May 2024
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Pike Fish Meaning

Pike fish has a binomial name of Esox lucius, which is also known as water wolf, common pike, snake, great northern pike, American pike, jackfish, Great Lakes pike, grass pike, and pickerel. The northern pike got its name due to its North American environment and the way that it looks like the pole weapon known as a pike. A pike is a species of carnivorous fish of the genus Esox. Pike fishes are found typically in brackish and fresh waters of the Northern Hemisphere. Also, they are known as a pike in Britain, Ireland, Canada, the United States, and most parts of Eastern Europe.

The classification of a pike fish can be expressed in a taxonomic tree that contains its scientific name, family, order, phylum, which we will understand in the further section.

Pike Fish Taxonomic Tree



Conservation status

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Here, LC means the pike fish comes under the least concerned category, as per the IUCN data.

Scientific Name

Esox lucius









Founded in

  • Lake Constance

  • Great Slave Lake, and 

  • Lake Powell

Besides classification, a pike fish has its living behaviour, diet, feeding pattern, and geographical range, which we will discuss and its behaviour with humans.

Pike Fish Etymology

From the above text, we understand that The northern pike gets its common name from its similarity to the pole-weapon known as the pike (from the Middle English for 'pointed'). 

Various other unofficial trivial (meaning, of least concerned) names are common pike, Lakes pike, the great northern pike, northern (in the U.S. Upper Midwest and in the Canadian areas of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan), jackfish, jack, slough shark, snake, slimer, slough snake, gator (because of a head similar in shape to that of a crocodile), hammer handle, and other such names as "long head" or "sharp nose". 

Various different names can be found in Field Historical centre Zool. Pamphlet Number 9. Its previous common name, the luci (presently lucy) or luce when completely developed, was utilized to shape its scientific classification (Esox lucius) and is utilized in heraldry.

What is a Pike?

Pike, any of a few insatiable freshwater fishes, family Esocidae, remarked both financially and for sport. They are perceived by the prolonged body, little scopes, long head, shovellike nose, and enormous mouth outfitted with solid teeth. The dorsal and anal fins are far back on the tail.

The northern pike is frequently olive green, concealing from yellow to white along the tummy. The flank is set apart with short, light bar-like spots and a couple of numerous dark spots on the fins. 

Some of the time, the blades are rosy. More young pikes have yellow stripes along a green body; later, the stripes partition into light spots and the body turns from green to olive green. The lower half of the gill cover needs scales, and it has enormous tangible pores on its head and on the underside of its lower jaw which are important for the sidelong line framework. In contrast to the comparative looking and carefully related muskellunge, the northern pike has light markings on a dull body foundation and less than six tactile pores on the underside of each side of the lower jaw. 

Drawing of Northern Pike 

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  • A crossbreed between northern pike and muskellunge is known as a tiger muskellunge (Esox masquinongy × lucius or Esox lucius × masquinongy, relying upon the sex of every one of the contributing animal categories). In the mixtures, the guys are perpetually sterile, while females are regularly ripe, and may back-cross with the parent species. 

  • Another type of northern pike, the silver pike, isn't a subspecies but instead a change that happens in dispersed populaces. Silver pikes, once in a while called silver muskellunge, do not have the columns of spots and seem silver, white, or shiny blue in colour. When sick, the silver pike has been known to show a fairly purplish colour; long disease is additionally the most well-known reason for male sterility. 

  • In Italy, the recently distinguished species Esox cisalpinus ("southern pike") was for some time thought to be a shading variety of the northern pike, however, in 2011 reported to be its very own type.

Pike Length and Weight

Northern pikes in North America rarely arrive at the size of their European partners; perhaps the biggest example known was a 21 kg (46 lb) example from New York. It was trapped in Incredible Sacandaga Lake on 15 September 1940 by Peter Dubuc. Reports of far bigger pike have been made, however, these are either misidentifications of the pike's bigger family member, the muskellunge or essentially have not been as expected recorded and have a place in the domain of legend. 

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As northern pikes develop longer, they expand in weight, and the connection between length and weight isn't direct. The connection between absolute length (L, in inches) and complete weight (W, in pounds) for virtually all types of fish can be communicated by a condition of the accompanying structure: 

                                         W = cL\[^{b}\]

Perpetually, b is near 3.0 for all species, and c is steady that fluctuates among species. For northern pike, b = 3.096 and c = 0.000180 (c = 7.089 empowers one to place length in meters and weight in kilograms).[9] The relationship depicted in this segment recommends a 20-inch (510 mm) northern pike will weigh around 2 lb (0.91 kg), while a 26-inch (660 mm) northern pike will weigh around 4 lb (1.8 kg).

Pike Age

Northern Pike typically has a lifespan between 10–15 years, however, sometimes it can live up to 25 years.

Pike Habitat

Pike are found in drowsy streams and shallow, weedy spots in lakes and supplies, just as in chilly, clear, rough waters. 

They are regular ambush predators; also, they can hold their prey perfectly, keeping them completely still for significant stretches, and afterwards show astounding acceleration (speed increase) as they strike. 

They possess any water body that contains fish, yet appropriate spots for producing are additionally fundamental. In view of their barbarian nature, young pike needs where they can take cover between plants so they are not eaten. 

In the two cases, rich, lowered vegetation is required. Pike are only occasionally found in saline water, aside from the Baltic Ocean region, where they can be figured out by investing energy both in the mouths of streams and in the open salty waters of the Baltic Ocean. It is typical for pike to get back to new water after a period in these bitter waters. They appear to lean toward the water with less turbidity, however, that is likely identified with their reliance on the presence of vegetation.

Pike Behaviour

Pike behaviour comprises the following traits:

  • Aggressive behaviour

  • Death rate

  • Eating 

  • Physical behaviour traits

Now, let’s discuss these behaviours one by one in detail:

Pike Aggressive Behaviour

The northern pike is a moderately forceful animal group, particularly as to taking care of. For instance, when food sources are scant, savagery creates, beginning around five weeks in a little level of populaces. This savagery happens when the proportion of hunter to prey is two to one. One can expect this since when food is scant, Northern pike battles for endurance, like turning on a more modest pike to take care of; this is seen in different species like tiger lizards. Normally, pike will in general benefit from more modest fish, like the united killifish. Notwithstanding, when pike surpasses 700 mm (28 in) long, they feed on bigger fish. 

Aggression likewise emerges from a requirement for space. Young pike will in general have their food taken by bigger Pike are forceful if not given sufficient room since they are regional. They utilize a type of searching known as tiger salamanders.

What Do Pike Fish Eat?

Not at all like species like perch, pike go through eruptions of energy rather than effectively pursuing down prey. In that capacity, a decent measure of idle time happens until they discover prey. Chasing proficiency diminishes with the opposition; the bigger the pike, the bigger the region constrained by that specific pike.

A converse connection to vegetation thickness and pike size exists, which is because of the chance of barbarism from the biggest pike. This bodes well, as the more modest pike needs more vegetation to try not to be eaten. 

Enormous pike doesn't have this concern and can manage the cost of the advantage of a huge view. They favour a tree structure’s natural habitat.

Pike Death Rate

Due to human flesh consumption when food is short, pike endures a genuinely high young death rate. Savagery is more predominant in cool summers, as the impending pike has lethargic development rates in that season and probably won't have the option to arrive at a size to dissuade the bigger pike. Human flesh consumption is probably going to emerge in low development and low food conditions. Pike don't separate kin well, so barbarism between kin is likely. 

Pike Physical Behaviour Traits

Pike can do “fast-start" movements, which are abrupt high-energy explosions of unstable swimming. Numerous other fish show this development also. 

Most fish utilize this system to stay away from perilous circumstances. For the pike, notwithstanding, it is a tool used to catch prey from their stationary positions. They streak out in such explosions and catch their prey. 

However, these quick beginnings end when the pike has arrived at terminal velocity. During such movements, the pike makes "S" conformities while swimming at high rates. To decelerate, they basically make a "C" compliance, dramatically hindering their speed so they can "stop". 

A fascinating social attribute that pikes have is that they have short assimilation times and long feeding periods. They can go through a significant number of these quick blasts to gather as much prey as possible. Pike are least dynamic during the evening.

Pike Feeding Pattern

The young, free-swimming pike feeds on little (invertebrates) spineless animals beginning with daphnia and rapidly proceed onward to greater prey, for example, the isopods asellus or Gammarus. At this point, when the body length is 4 to 8 cm (1.6 to 3.1 in), they begin feeding on the little fish. 

A pike has normal chasing conduct; it can stay fixed in the water by moving the last fin rays of the dorsal fins and the pectoral fins. 

Prior to striking, it twists its body and darts out to the prey utilizing the huge surface of its caudal balance, dorsal blade, and butt-centric balance to move. The fish has a particular propensity for getting its prey sideways in the mouth, immobilizing it with its sharp, in reverse pointing teeth, and afterwards turning the prey carelessly to swallow it. 

However, for bigger prey, the pike will for the most part endeavour to suffocate the prey prior to carting it away to be devoured. It eats for the most part fish and frogs, yet additionally, little mammals and birds succumb to pike. Young pike has been discovered dead from stifling on a pike of a comparative size, a perception alluded to by the eminent English writer Ted Hughes in his renowned sonnet "Pike". Northern pike likewise feeds on insects, crayfish, and leeches.

They are not exceptionally specific and eat spiked fish like perch, and will even accept fish however, even capture a fish as small as sticklebacks if they are the only available prey.

Pike Geographical Distribution

  • Esox lucius is found in new water all through the Northern Half of the globe, including Russia, Europe, and North America. It has likewise been acquainted with lakes in Morocco and is even found in bitter water of the Baltic Ocean, yet they are bound to the low-saltiness water at the outside of the ocean and are only from time to time seen in saline water elsewhere.

  • Within North America, northern pike populations are found in the following places:

Places in North America - Pike Found


New Hampshire



Rhode Island


New York 

New Jersey



West Virginia









North Dakota

South Dakota








Northern Texas

Northern New Mexico

Northern Arizona

The Frozen North

The Yukon

The Northwest Regions






However, pike fish is uncommon in English Columbia and east coast territories. 

  • Besides these places, watersheds in which pike are found incorporate the Ohio Valley, the upper Mississippi Stream, and its feeders, and the Incomparable Lakes Bowl. 

  • They are additionally supplied in or have been acquainted, for certain western lakes and supplies for sport fishing, albeit a few fisheries chiefs accept this training regularly compromises different types of fish like bass, trout, and salmon, making government offices endeavour to eradicate the pike by harming lakes, like Blustery Lake, The Frozen North. 

  • E. Lucius is a serious obtrusive hunter in Box Gully Supply on the Pend Oreille Waterway in northeastern Washington.

Pike Fish Images

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  • The northern pike fish was captured with a fishing lure in Belgium.

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  • E. Lucius pike fish was caught and released by an angler in lake Finzula, Croatia.

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  • A pike fish in Prague Vltava fish exhibition.

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  • The skull of the northern pike fish.

Are Pike Fish Invasive?

A pike utilizes the lateral line system to follow the vortices generated by the perceived prey, and the spiral movement of the spinner is probably the best way to imitate or exaggerate these. 

Additionally, Jerkbaits are effective and can produce spectacular bites with pike attacking these erratic-moving lures at high speed. However, for trolling, big plugs/soft baits can be used. 

Further, spoons with mirror finishes are also effective when the sun is at a sharp angle to the water in the mornings or evenings because they generate the vibrations and create a glint of reflective sunlight that mimics ( to imitate closely) the flash of white-bellied prey.

Pike Fish Facts

  • Pike can develop to a moderately enormous size: the normal length is around 40-55 cm (16-22 in), with the greatest recorded lengths of up to 150 cm (59 in) and distributed loads of 28.4 kg (63 lb). The IGFA right now perceives that on 16 October 1986, a 25 kg (55 lb) pike was caught by Lothar Louis on Greffern Lake, Germany, as the all-tackle world-record northern pike.

  • In the Finnish epic verse Kalevala, insightful mythical being Väinämöinen makes a supernatural kantele (string instrument) from the jawbone of a goliath pike.

  • Pike have been noticed chasing and endeavouring to eat bigger waterbirds, for example, an episode in 2016 when an individual was noticed attempting to suffocate and eat an incredible peaked grebe, as well as an incident the earlier year where an attack by a huge pike somewhere in the range of three and four feet since a long time ago was embroiled as a potential reason for the injury and passing of an adult mute swan on Lower Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, yet it is, for the most part, accepted that such attacks are just uncommon events.

  • In Finland, getting a kymppihauki, a pike weighing at any rate 10 kg (22 lb), is viewed as the capability of an expert fisherman.

FAQs on Pike Fish

Q1: How Do You Identify a Pike Fish?

Ans: The northern pike is a stretched fish. Its dorsal area is pale blue-green to dim in shading, concealing to white or yellow on the tummy. This shading recognizes it from chain pickerel, redfin pickerel, muskellunge, and different individuals from the pike family. The northern pike's scales have sporadic lines of yellow or gold bean-moulded spots. 

They likewise have completely scaled cheeks and huge tactile pores on each side of the ventral surface of the lower jaw. This trademark makes northern pike a direct relation to muskellunge, however with light markings on their dim body foundations and under 6 tangible pores on the underside of their jaw. The mouth is duck-bill moulded and fixed with numerous sharp canine teeth.

Q2: Where Do Pikes Lay Eggs?

Ans: Spawning takes place after ice-out when temperatures arrive at 35 ℉ in shallow waters. The female lays the eggs over aquatic vegetation while two or more males fertilize them.

An enormous female northern pike can deliver 2,50,000 to 5,00,000 adhesive eggs that adhere to the vegetation and incubate inside six to 29 days, contingent upon water temperature. Young pike commonly arrives at six inches by their first fall and accomplish sexual development in quite a while. Pike can live to 24 years. 

Northern pike can raise with muskellunge to deliver a subspecies known as tiger muskellunge (Esox masquinongy immaculatus). There is additionally a shiny blue or silver change known as the silver pike or silver muskellunge, happening in dispersed populations.

Q3: What is a Pike? Is Pike a Game Fish?

Ans: Yes. Pike angling is becoming an enormously popular pastime activity in Europe. Effective methods for capturing this hard-fighting fish include the following:

  • Dead baits

  • Lure fishing, and 

  • Jerk baiting. 

They are prized as game fish for their set on fighting.

Numerous countries have restricted the utilization of live fish for the trap, yet pike can be caught with dead fish, which they situate by smell. For this procedure, fat marine fish like herring, sardines, and mackerel are frequently utilized.

Q4: How Do Pikes Reproduce?

Ans: Pike has a strong homing behaviour; they occupy certain regions essentially. Throughout the late spring, they gather closer to vegetation than during the winter. The specific explanation isn't clear, however, likely is a consequence of scrounging or potentially conceptive requirements to defend youth. 

Pike diel rhythm changes fundamentally over the year. On sunny days, pike stays nearer to the shallow shore. However, on breezy days, they are further from shore. When near the shore, the pike has an inclination for shallow, vegetated areas. 

Pike are more fixed in reservoirs than lakes. A chance is that lakes have more prey to feed on, or conceivably in reservoirs, the prey will eventually encounter the pike. Accordingly, this could be a type of energy conservation. Pike breed in the spring.