The pike (known as the Northern Pike in North America) is a carnivorous fish. They can be found in all types of freshwater in the northern hemisphere (Britain, North America, Europe, etc.) and can be an incredibly exciting fish to catch. If you’re a game angler, catching large pike can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have (whilst angling!). It’s also a fish that has been eaten by people for many years.
As the pike is carnivorous, it’s also (expectedly) predatory, and has developed good techniques for ambushing its prey. This means that the pike can be hard for an angler to find, but this also makes it so much more exciting when you do catch one. The fish can also put up quite a fight when you’re attempting to reel it in, which is all the more fun.
When the pike is ready to strike its prey (or your bait), it will usually accelerate fast and grab the prey sideways in its mouth. It will then either kill or incapacitate the prey and turn to swallow it whole. It will generally eat fish and insects etc., but pike have also been known to eat ducklings and other water-based creatures.
First thing’s first: When you’re pike fishing, you need to fish in a water that actually has pike (I know, this should be obvious, but do check beforehand). Secondly, learn your local waters – pike can be found anywhere from small streams to rivers to lakes (anywhere you can find fresh water). Each of these different habitats have different places for the pike to hide, and they will have learnt to hunt (and ambush and hide) in different places in the water. By learning the water well and experimenting and testing the water for where the pike can be found, you’ll stand a much better chance of actually netting a fish.
You should also note what the pike in the area are eating. To increase your chances of a catch, you’ll need to ensure that the bait you’re using is as close as possible to the fish that the local pike are eating. This will change from day to day, depending on the season and weather.
Searching for pike in lakes can be more successful during the spring. This is because the pike naturally migrate to shallow, weedy parts of the water to spawn. They’ll then remain there to feed on the other fish that are spawning in the same area. In the summer and winter, the pike are more likely to be found in the deeper water where they can find better cover. So in the summer months, using a boat to catch the fish closer to the centre of a lake will usually increase your chances.