Pike (Esox lucius)
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Size 42 " ( 107 cm ) up to 35 kg
The Pike is a respected predator. A strong, streamlined, camouflaged body, combined with a veritable arsenal of teeth within it's elongated jaws. Add to that a sensory system consisting of the tactile pores on it's head and jaws, the lateral line and keen eyesight and you have the ultimate freshwater hunter. Pike live almost exclusively on fish but tales are abound of Moorhens and ducklings disappearing from the surface of known haunts.
Pike are solitary fish and hunting prey by lying in wait or stealthily moving around searching for sick or wounded. when ready to strike it thrusts itself forward with the aid of it's closely grouped dorsal, anal and tail fin at the unsuspecting fish, generally from underneath. Contact is normally made in the body area of it's prey whereupon the Pike will swim with it's catch until it can comfortably turn it to swallow, head first. Occasionally Pike will attack and eat other smaller and weaker Pike controlling their own numbers.
It can be found in stillwaters, canals and slow-flowing rivers where it can attain a length of 1.5m and can weigh over 20kgs. In Europe, the Pike has been known to reach weights up to 35kg.
The Female is larger than the Male and may lay up to 480,000 eggs It spawns in shallow water in early spring.