(See Fish Gallery Below)
Pikes are large voracious predatory fish with a long streamlined body and a long, toothed duckbill-like snout. Northern pike and muskellunge grow to a large size (50-100 pounds), whereas the smaller chain and redfin pickerel seldom exceed 10 pounds. All four species are found in Virginia, primary habitat is weedy areas in rivers and lakes. Northern pike are among the most widely distributed of fish, found across northern North America, Europe, and Asia.|
The pikes are prolific (0.5 million eggs/fish) broadcast spawners, laying adhesive eggs over flooded vegetation in the early spring. Juveniles become predatory on fish (piscivorous) at about 2" in length and continue to be day-active voracious carnivores eating fish, frogs, waterfowl, and small mammals throughout their solitary lives.
Trophy-size musky and pike are difficult to catch and actively sought after by sport anglers because they strike and fight hard. They have been widely distributed outside their native range for sport fishing. Pike and pickerel are good eating, but the flesh contains small intermuscular bones like suckers and carp.