There are five known species of Pike (Esox ) which are; Northern pike, American Pickerel, the Muskellunge(Musky) Chain Pickerel and the Amur pike.They say they get their name from the medieval word ‘pike’ meaning pointed. It is believed they can be traced back over sixty million years ago to around the Mesozoic period, and haven’t changed much in that time, proving they truly are the perfect underwater predator.
PIKE DON’T TEND TO CHASE THEIR PREY.
Pike are not too picky on their habitat and thrive on neglect, so you will find them in most types of freshwater just as long as they have food to feed on, ie fish and small mammals. Unlike some fish pike don’t tend to chase their prey if they can help it, they prefer to lay in wait and ambush the prey as it goes past in a short sharp burst averaging between 8 and 10 mph.
PIKE SPAWN IN TEMPERATURES OF 48 DEGREES.
They will also scavenge a meal, but more likely in the colder months when their energy levels are low, therefore not having to use up too much energy. They choose to spawn in the shallower water in springtime when the water temperature reaches 48’f laying their spawn in the reed beds and underwater snags.
PIKE FISHING IS CLASSED AS A WINTER SPORT.
Pike fishing nowadays is more known as a winter sport, mainly because in the Summer months oxygen levels are low and the Pike can easily become ‘gassed up’ quite often leading to a dead fish. They do fatten themselves up ready for the cold weather but are also more lethargic so most of the time a slow retrieve on the lures will produce more fish. A lot of Anglers either don’t believe about ‘gassing up’ or choose to ignore it. They believe piking can be fast and furious in the summer. With the warmer water and the sun shining the pike has plenty of energy to chase those baits around, providing some exciting sport.
GET THE FISH BACK IN THE WATER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
But because of the warm water and quite often low water levels the waters are not quite as oxygenated, so it is worth keeping an eye on the pike’s welfare when it’s on the bank. Making sure to get it back in the water as soon as possible, and kept in an upright position until it’s ready to swim off on its own accord.