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PIKE
COARSE  FISHING  WITH  THE  ESSEX  ANGLER


(Esox lucius)

pike

DISCRIPTION
The largest fresh water predator native to the UK.
Built for speed with a streamlined body and with just a flick of its large strong tail fin this awesome predator to reach high speed from a stand still.
Its coloring of green, yellow and grey on its flanks make for perfect natural camouflage blending in with weeds and the like.
The dorsal fin is to the rear of its back with the anal fin directly below.
Its eyes are on top of its head allowing it excellent vision as it waits to ambush its prey.
It also has sensors on top of its head, under its jaw and down its lateral line that can detect vibration pressure, temperature and scent.In fact its sensors are so good, it can tell when a low pressure is coming in days in advance.This is why they tend to have a feeding spell a couple of days before it turns cold so as to conserve energy.
They have a large mouth with a fearsome set long and sharp needle like teeth designed to impale and hold the prey. They have 2 long pads at the top of the mouth that goes from the front of the mouth to the back of the throat. These are covered with teeth to grip its prey. They even have small teeth on their gill raikers so smaller prey cant swim out the gills.
HABITAT
Found in most waters such as rivers, lakes, ponds, lochs or streams and use their natural camouflage lurks about in reed beds, sunken tree roots, weir pools.
FEEDING HABITS
They will eat any smaller fish even smaller Pike and have even been known to eat ducklings and small mammals that swim along the bank.
When in the shallows it will just lay still in a snag or weed and wait for its pray to come to it. In deep water it will hang mid water under the shoals of prey fish and strike from underneath. They will eat any dead or dyeing fish, which makes it an important part of the eco system to prevent disease from dead fish.
When they make a catch, they run with it turning its prey around in its mouth and swallowing it head first.
STATS
British record - 46lb 13oz
Max length -4ft 2in (1.27M)
Life span -18-25 Years
NATURAL FOOD SOURCE
Fish including smaller pike, small mammals, worms.
LIFE CYCLE
Females usually have up to 20,000 eggs per pound of their body weight; so large specimens may be carrying more than 500,000 eggs each spring. The female pike is the larger of the 2 sexes and can weigh up to 18kg (40lb) or more: males rarely get any bigger than 5.5kg (12lb). After spawning they feed heavily to regain their strength. It has been known for a female to take a smaller male when spawning is over.





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