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THE NORTHERN PIKE - Esox Lucius AKA Jackfish, Jack, Pickerel, Gator, Grand Bochet (in Quebec).

This species of game fish found in the Northern hemisphere is known around the world as a rapacious predator. Eating the usual fish fare of smaller fish, crayfish, insects and frogs - its diet also includes; mice, ducklings, goslings and muskrats. It grows up to 22kg (40 lbs) and to lengths of of more than a meter (3-4 feet). Living in shallow, weedy bays of lakes and slow moving rivers with extensive growth, the Northern Pike is a voracious beast.

Its long, slender green body, flat head and clamp like jaws filled with teeth, demand that anglers use caution when removing hooks. The body varies from bright to olive to dark green with gold/yellow dots covering the sides. The perfect camouflage complete with short, elongated fins edged in red and its eyes are bright yellow (to match the spots).

It seems that the farther North you go, the bigger they get. Lakes in Canada, Northern Minnesota and Michigan are well known for their Muskie, Walleye and Pike fishing. Lodges in the summer rely on the fishing and tourists wanting to catch "The Big One". The flora and fauna are also a plus in the summertime. The Pike also resides in Northwestern Europe.

When fishing for Pike, best to troll using spoons or live bait. Few things are as exciting as being in the Boundary waters in a canoe, hungry... and seeing one of these alligator type brutes stalking your lure. Fighting and fileting them produce a delectable return - yes they are bony, and not as good as Walleye but nothing beats a good shore lunch.

A few last notes:

The fish spawns in the spring about the time the ice melts, the eggs hatch in 14-20 days and Northern Pike can live between 10-20 years.

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