Lake Superior Northern Pike Facts

Lake Superior Northern Pike Facts
When most anglers think of Lake Superior, they think of trout and salmon. But northern pike, as well as other coolwater fish species, are also present. Anglers who know how to find Lake Superior's pike can tangle with trophy-sized fish.


Like inland pike, Lake Superior northerns are long, slender fish with pointed jaws filled with sharp teeth. They are green with white or off-white spots on the body. The fins are reddish with black stripes. Lake Superior pike are more silvery and less green than inland fish. More-silver coloration is typical of other Lake Superior species as well.


Northerns don't roam all of Lake Superior. Rather, they live in sheltered shallow bays where the water is warmer and prey abounds. Wisconsin's Chequamegon Bay is a prime example.


Like their small-water brethren, Lake Superior pike feed on perch, suckers and other common freshwater species. Pike also eat smelt, herring, whitefish and young trout. Eating these fat, oily fish helps northerns grow faster.

Trophy Fishery

High-fat forage, combined with limited angling pressure, helps Lake Superior pike grow to trophy size. Fish measuring 30 inches are common, and 40-inch fish weighing 20 lbs. are possible.

Angling Pressure

Northerns are not popular targets on Lake Superior, simply because there are other species to chase, including trout, salmon and walleye. Some anglers fish specifically for trophy-sized pike, but most northerns are caught incidentally while targeting other species.

Article Written By Joe Shead

Joe Shead is a freelance writer specializing in outdoor writing. He has written for numerous national and regional outdoor magazines on various topics from hunting to fishing to his pet subject, shed antler hunting.

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