The Pike (Esox lucius) is one of the most popular quarry among coarse fish. Some fishermen say he’s the King, as the carp has been called the Queen of freshwater fish. The pike is a sporting fish that grows to a large size and gives thrilling excitement to the one catching him. The pike is found in all the main rivers, canals, drains, broads, meres and ponds. It’s also invaded the trout lochs of Scotland, and is found in most waters in the English Isles where the largest specimens are spotted. He’s in most rivers, streams, and creeks in the southeastern United States. Pike from 10 lb. to 20 lb. are fairly common, and a good many specimens from 25 lb. to 30 lb. have been recorded from time to time.
An aggressive biter, greedy, and many times ravenous, the pike is well worth fishing for with rod and line. He gives the best sport during the autumn and winter, though in some rivers, I’ve found pike in July and August. From April to June he’s out of season. From September right on through autumn and winter he’s in fine form. December, January, and February are the best months to fish him.
Unlike most fish, pike don’t congregate in schools. During spawning time they’re seen in couples, and often later in the year when a pike has been taken from a particular spot, it’s best to fish it patiently because he may have sweety nearby. On more than one occasion I’ve taken a pike within a few yards of the place where I hooked one of its brethren earlier in the day.
In appearance the pike doesn’t look much like fresh water fish and is easily recognized by its broad flattened head and big prominent eyes. Its body is elongated in form, the frame of the pike being specially designed for swift attack, giving it power to descend with rapidly propelled force upon its luckless victims. Its mouth is large and constructed to readily seize and hold. The teeth are so arranged that an object easily enters, but cannot so readily escape again. The body is covered with rather small scales, the color varying according to the season. The general coloring is olive green, and dark olive on the back. The sides are splashed with yellowish markings and blotches. The very appearance of the pike tells you he’s a corsair and a cannibal. The wicked-looking eyes and protruding lower jaw, give it a very alligator like profile. It will prey on anything and everything like a rat or young water-bird, especially ducklings, frogs, and other living critters that come in his reach. For sure, he has a really voracious appetite. It preys on fish all the time, and it isn’t beyond eating one of its own offspring for supper. In fact, a hungry pike has been known to lay hold of one of its brethren nearly as big as it is.