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Northern Pike

Northern Pike

Fun Facts

  • Species Name: Esox Lucius
  • Common Names: pike, jackfish, northern
  • State Record: 30lbs. 8 oz. Caught in Glen Lake in 1977 by Bernard Golob


A long, slender fish that has a large mouth, and dorsal and anal fins placed far to the rear. They have greenish gray flanks with several rows of irregular, yellowish-white bean shaped spots. Northern pike have scales only on the upper half of their gill covers, and their tail, dorsal, and anal fins have dark spots or blotches.

Northern Pike Life History

Where to Fish

Northern pike have thrived in many of Vermont’s fertile lakes, ponds and rivers. Notable pike fisheries include Lake Champlain, Otter Creek, Bristol Pond, Woodward Reservoir, Connecticut River and Lake Memphramagog, among others.

Similar to other fish species, healthy populations of northern pike can also be found in various small ponds throughout the state.

How to Fish

Northern pike are aggressive feeders and have a wide-ranging diet. Due to this aggressive nature, anglers are generally most-successful targeting northern pike with moving baits around shallow underwater vegetation.

Using baits that afford a fast, erratic retrieve allow an angler to efficiently cover large expanses of water and trigger reaction bites from feeding pike.

Additionally, live bait offerings such as large baitfish can be especially effective, and anglers should reference current Vermont regulations for rules regarding baitfish use.

Northern pike are also fairly active under the ice, and suspending a live or dead baitfish under a tip-up is a great way to target them in the winter.