How to Identify Northern Pike

How to Identify Northern PikeThe northern pike is a predatory fish renowned for its sharp teeth. In North America, the pike is found throughout most of Canada and across the northern portion of the U.S. as far west as Montana. It is a close relative to fish such as the muskellunge and pickerel. The northern pike is caught in the warm months with a rod and reel and in the winter through the ice.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Step 1
Identify the northern pike by its torpedo shape, its very large and wide head that has a flattened mouth and by its many sharp teeth.
Step 2
Look for an olive green body that will have yellow spots or bars arranged in rows down its body.
Step 3
Identify the northern pike by the placement of its dorsal fin. Observe this fin situated a few inches from the tail and on the pike's back.
Step 4
Check its size, as a northern pike can often exceed 40 inches in length and weigh as much as 40 pounds. Realize though that typical specimens will be in the 30 inch range and weigh around 15 pounds.
Step 5
Identify the northern pike by the orange color of its fins and by the forked tail, a distinction which sets it apart from its cousin, the muskellunge.
Step 6
Check the location. The northern pike will live in cool water areas in lakes and rivers where there is sufficient vegetation to hide it as it waits in ambush for other fish.

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