Northern Pike

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(Esox Lucius, trans. water wolf)

Here’s a fish of mythic proportions, sinister, wily, violent, an ambush predator built for speed equipped with large forward-facing eyes, a narrow shovel-shaped snout and a mouth, including gillrakers and tongue, lined with backward-curved, razor-sharp, needle-pointed teeth. Crocodilian.

They lurk in the slow, shallow, murky water, in the weedy sloughs and back eddies. They lie beneath patches of lily pads and along the rocky shoreline. When they spot prey, they dart out like an arrow released from a bow. And, by the way, they don’t just eat other fish, they eat small mammals that fall into the water, small birds, leeches, frogs, baby ducks and large insects.

In the Minipi, their average size is between 7 and 10 pounds. Some biologists have speculated that the slab-like girth of our brook trout is a survival adaptation in response to pike predation. Who knows?

If you want action, just cast a big streamer near shore and rip it back. Bang! That’s a pike.