The northern pike is one of North America’s largest and most vicious predatory fish. These sought after sport fish are found in freshwater lakes and rivers of the northern hemisphere, including Russia, Europe, and North America.

The northern pike is similar in shape and color to other members of the pike family, including the muskellunge and chain pickerel.

The northern pike’s body is marked with a pattern of light markings on a dark green background. This makes them practically invisible when hiding among aquatic vegetation, which is a common hunting tactic for the species.

Several features distinguish Northern Pike from the larger musky. These include body markings, the lower half of the cheek having scales, five pores or less on each side of the underside of the jaw, and rounded tail tips.

Northern pike are also known as jackfish, jack, and pike.

Northern Pike Fishing Techniques

Northern pike will take just about every kind of live and artificial bait, including very large streamer flies.

Anglers often troll or cast spoons, inline spinners, crankbaits, topwater lures, spinnerbaits, or buzz baits for pike.

Popular live baits for catching pike include fish such as bluegill, small perch, herring, shad, suckers, trout, chubs, and shiners.

During winter, northern pike are a favorite catch of ice fishermen. In some areas, winter fishermen take pike by darkhouse spearfishing.

Related Information

Fish Species