Friday, October 28, 2011
The northern pike is a cool-water species whose habitat is usually warm, slow, and shallow, heavily vegetated rivers or the weedy bays of lakes. They also can be found in cold, clear, rocky water bodies. A solitary and territorial fish, northern pike ambush their predators, laying in wait at the edge of weed beds to dart out, attacking with surprising speed. Young northern pike feed on immature aquatic insects and then fish. Adults will eat fish, crayfish, ducklings, muskrats, frogs, leeches or mice. Northern pike are known for being less particular about their food choices. They will even eat younger pike fish, making it critical for the young pike to find safe shelter among vegetation. Northerns typically catch their prey sideways, immobilizing their prey with the backward pointing teeth, and then turning the prey headfirst so they can swallow it. Younger pike have been found dead having choked on a pike of a similar size.