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Muskie Fishing -> General Discussion -> Why are European Pike Huge
 
Message Subject: Why are European Pike Huge
Musky_Slayer
Posted 11/8/2012 9:07 PM (#596949)
Subject: Why are European Pike Huge





Posts: 274


Location: Pewaukee WI
Its well known the forage is better in Europe but the size of pike seem unreal. Even if you were to feed an american pike the same forage in the same conditions I don't see them reaching the same size. Is there genetics involved
Top H2O
Posted 11/8/2012 9:28 PM (#596953 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: RE: Why are European Pike Huge




Posts: 2464


Location: Elko - Lake Vermilion
Ya.
wisconsinriverrat
Posted 11/9/2012 6:57 AM (#596978 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: RE: Why are European Pike Huge




Posts: 15


European pike are not the same fish as northern pike we have different genetics. just like the perch are different too look the same but are genetically different species.
KenK
Posted 11/9/2012 8:31 AM (#596990 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: Re: Why are European Pike Huge





Posts: 244


Location: Elk Grove Village, IL
They are the same species, Esox lucius, but they are top of the food chain in Europe and Asia and grow much larger than the northern pike here. I am sure it is a combination of genetics, forage base, and lakes, plus in Europe they can also tolerate brackish water.
Jerry Newman
Posted 11/9/2012 9:45 AM (#596999 - in reply to #596990)
Subject: Re: Why are European Pike Huge




Location: 31

KenK - 11/9/2012 8:31 AM They are the same species, Esox lucius, but they are top of the food chain in Europe and Asia and grow much larger than the northern pike here. I am sure it is a combination of genetics, forage base, and lakes, plus in Europe they can also tolerate brackish water.

I agree... perfect explanation!

A little bit off the subject but it kind of reminded me of something "the pike ferret" (Jan Eggers) told me about years ago when we were just getting started gathering information on the muskie records.

Jan said that when he was a lot younger he kept hearing about this particular European lake/area where they were consistently catching giant pike, way bigger than anywhere else he had researched. He decided to go after these giants and saved his money and  vacation time to travel there during the best times. However, after a couple of years of trying everything possible to no avail... something just clicked in his head and he figured out why he couldn't catch anything close to what he had heard about.

The common denominator was they were holding a lot of "fishing contests" in that area and in fact the $ simply brought out the best cheaters, and not so much the best fisherman... sadly, the fish were no bigger there than elsewhere.

I would speculate that most everyone in the area knew about it and the local economy even became dependent on it, so it just continued to perpetuate itself. It apparently got so bad that cheaters were forced to out cheat other cheaters just to have a shot at the prize money. They even caught one guy who entered the same pike two different years by way of freezing.

Please don't take this as a dig against our European neighbors, I certainly believe they have larger pike there... and we certainly have our cheaters here too. I just thought some of you might find it an interesting aside.

dougj
Posted 11/9/2012 10:01 AM (#597004 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: RE: Why are European Pike Huge





Posts: 830


Location: Warroad, Mn

I'm sure genetics are involved, but another factor is the climate of Europe. Many of the areas that produce the giant pike have very temperate climates. The water temperatures are always in the fishes perfered ranges, with no non-growing season in the winter, and no real high water temperatures in the summer. Makes for a very long growing season that the European Pike have adapted to.

Doug Johnson

FAT-SKI
Posted 11/9/2012 11:31 AM (#597018 - in reply to #597004)
Subject: RE: Why are European Pike Huge





Posts: 1167


Location: Lake "y" cause lake"x" got over fished
Not to take anything away from how big the pike are over in Europe. But I am more impressed with their Zander fish. Kinda like our walleye but HUGE!!!!!!!!

Here is a link to see some of the Zanders...
http://bigfishesoftheworld.blogspot.com/2012/10/zander-sander-lucio...


Here is an article I stumbled across looking for some Zander pics. Do we believe this??? I guess it is possible but holy cow!!!!
http://pacnews.blogspot.com/2008/11/exclusive-world-record-80lbs-pi...
---------------

We had a speaker at the TC chapter for muskies INC a few months ago. It was a guy from Switzerland that owned a bait store and was an avid Pike angler over there. I think he said his larges pike was 55" or 57" I can't remember. But he said that one of the top producing baits over there is the Bull Dawg. Said that the big Pike love the bull dawgs. He gave a really cool speech about Pike and Zander over in Europe.

I know that one of the things he was saying was that on this one certain lake. there is a river leading to the ocean. Fish swim into the lakes that have a high fat content than any of the fresh water forage. Also said it is not uncommon for the Pike to venture into the saltier water from time to time to feed. They like the higher fat based forage. So that has a little to do with it. Also as it has been previously stated the climate is different as well.

I wish I could remember the guys name that did the speech, it was really cool.
Tim Kelly
Posted 11/9/2012 12:15 PM (#597025 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: Re: Why are European Pike Huge





Posts: 351


Location: London, England
That "80lb" pike is an obvious fake. They can grow big in Europe, but anything over 40lb is utterly exceptional. A few factors probably help. For one thing, in the UK, Holland, parts of Germany etc the lakes and rivers rarely freeze over for long, so there is good fishing available in the winter when the fish are generally fatter. Pike have very little predatory competition. Perch are usually present in the same waters, but they're appreciably smaller than the pike, so don't really compete with them. Zander are present in some waters, but the pike tend to out compete them in clearer water systems, where the zander do a bit better in dirty water systems. There aren't bass, pickerel, catfish, muskie, etc competing for the predators role within the ecosystem, so as the apex predator a few of them grow big given the right environment, and ideally neglect. Europe is more densely populated than most of the US, and fishing pressure is what usually diminishes a good pike population in a water....

Edited by Tim Kelly 11/9/2012 12:16 PM
Guest
Posted 11/9/2012 1:35 PM (#597037 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: RE: Why are European Pike Huge


The only reason pike get so big in Europe is because they can only fish with one rod. hehe
pommes
Posted 11/9/2012 3:18 PM (#597056 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: RE: Why are European Pike Huge




Posts: 41


Hey folks,

interesting discussion.
In Europe we love your musky tactics and methods to catch big pikes. It's fun! Big blades, dawgs, jerks etc. They became more and more public over the last years.
The Northerns love it!

Two of the best areas in Europe to catch big pikes are the swedish and irish lakes. But the best I would say are the German Bodden waters!

But why are they getting bigger than in the U.S.? I think, there are two main reasons are matched in the postings before: 1. the absence of another big predator like musky and 2. the moderate climate, espeacially in middle and northern Europe.
Tigerhunter
Posted 11/9/2012 7:38 PM (#597088 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: Re: Why are European Pike Huge





Posts: 216


Obviously they're juicin! Steroids FTW!!!!
Pikopath
Posted 11/10/2012 2:41 AM (#597108 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: Re: Why are European Pike Huge




Posts: 503


Location: Norway
I also believe part of the reason is that pike dont have a real competitor. In some lakes the only predator competition they have is huge trout. But they dont necessarily compete in the same area and/or food. I believe that these trout grow big because of 1. Genetics (which has been proven to some extent) and 2. They have to grow big, so that the pike dont get them (survival of the fittest). In US pike/musky lakes, I think they compete more, and the musky at some point surpass the pike, and "hold them back".
Regarding what Doug J says about temps, the water temps become very high in huge pike lakes aswell, but these lakes often has depths over 200-300ft (and some up to 1000ft) so they can find their preferred water temps all year long, often these lakes also contains those big trouts.

Michael
Backbay
Posted 11/11/2012 10:31 AM (#597211 - in reply to #597004)
Subject: RE: Why are European Pike Huge





Posts: 7


Location: Toronto
dougj - 11/9/2012 11:01 AM

I'm sure genetics are involved, but another factor is the climate of Europe. Many of the areas that produce the giant pike have very temperate climates. The water temperatures are always in the fishes perfered ranges, with no non-growing season in the winter, and no real high water temperatures in the summer. Makes for a very long growing season that the European Pike have adapted to.

Doug Johnson

Sounds right to me.... The biggest  pike I've seen in our area of Georgian Bay is a 49, but it's pretty rare to see them over 43" or so....

Pike Master
Posted 11/11/2012 10:43 AM (#597213 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: RE: Why are European Pike Huge


Keep in mind that pretty much all of the premier pike waters in North America don't contain any Muskie.
Gurski
Posted 11/12/2012 12:54 PM (#597470 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: RE: Why are European Pike Huge


I wonder what would happen if you crossed European Pike with a Leech Lake strain Muskie
sworrall
Posted 11/12/2012 12:56 PM (#597473 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: Re: Why are European Pike Huge





Location: Rhinelander, Wisconsin
Nothing much if you place them in waters neither has adapted to.
ESOX Maniac
Posted 11/12/2012 1:07 PM (#597475 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: RE: Why are European Pike Huge





Posts: 2404


Location: Mauston, Wisconsin
Musky_Slayer - 11/8/2012 9:07 PM

Its well known the forage is better in Europe but the size of pike seem unreal. Even if you were to feed an american pike the same forage in the same conditions I don't see them reaching the same size. Is there genetics involved


It's really no secret, its all the wurst they are feeding them. That's the secret bait!

Have fun!
Al
Pointerpride102
Posted 11/12/2012 1:11 PM (#597476 - in reply to #597470)
Subject: RE: Why are European Pike Huge





Posts: 8439


Location: The desert
Gurski - 11/12/2012 11:54 AM

I wonder what would happen if you crossed European Pike with a Leech Lake strain Muskie


You'd get a tiger musky.
Johnnie
Posted 11/13/2012 2:16 PM (#597741 - in reply to #597475)
Subject: RE: Why are European Pike Huge





Posts: 211


Location: NE Wisconsin


It's really no secret, its all the wurst they are feeding them. That's the secret bait!

Don't laugh I have a friend who catches some very nice pike, through the ice, using raw brats for bait.
Cory Toker
Posted 11/13/2012 2:22 PM (#597745 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: RE: Why are European Pike Huge


Doug J hit the nail on the head. I think it is very much climate related. Very long growing season with water temps holding in the pike's optimal preferred range.

CT
Guest
Posted 11/15/2012 8:16 AM (#598058 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: RE: Why are European Pike Huge


Tougher regulations. More catch and release fisherman. Here are just a few pike regs in Ireland per fishing ireland.

It is prohibited to kill more than 1 pike in any one day,
It is prohibited to kill any pike greater than 50 cm in length (That's 19.5 inches.)
It is prohibited for any person to have in their possession more than 1 whole pike less than 50 cm or more than 0.75 kgs of pike flesh.

http://www.fishinginireland.info/regulations.htm

People up north in Wisconsin keep every fish they catch. 1 pike a day? lol. I rememeber the fits people threw when panfish went from 25 to 10 on some lakes.


sworrall
Posted 11/15/2012 9:18 AM (#598073 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: Re: Why are European Pike Huge





Location: Rhinelander, Wisconsin
There have been attempts by the DNR to create trophy Pike waters that seemed to hold potential in N Wisconsin. One recently reduced the bag limit to one under 26" if I remember correctly, and was in place for several years. No appreciable difference in size structure was noted and the population didn't grow much, recorded by a creel agent on the water, through boom shocking, and netting surveys.

We like to harvest the Pike we keep at about 22" to 25". Over and under that, back they go. Some waters we fish for big pike we keep none at all. The waters we fish that are nearly unfished for Pike and hold some really old fish seem to peak out at about 41 to 42".

Pelican is an exception, I'd really like to see a protected slot from 30" to 45" there.

And the public voted for the decrease in numbers for pannies frpm 50 to 25. The folks whining about that didn't show up to vote, apparently. I voted for a reduction to 15 and there was one about 10 could be crappies or a similar suggestion, that one was shot down. Too bad, 15 is plenty.

Posted from the deep woods in N Wi at Deer Camp.
Flambeauski
Posted 11/15/2012 9:48 AM (#598079 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: Re: Why are European Pike Huge




Posts: 2714


Location: Smith Creek
The "kill every pike we see" method has worked on the TFF, we are finally seeing fish over 30" there. Hopefully the bigger ones are being released. I know I do, doubt everyone else is. There's still tons of fish under 20". They get wacked without exception.
On the Big Pond we tried to get some reg changes but 2 at 26" was already too restrictive to the locals. 32" minimum would be nice there. I've caught a few over 40" and have seen them (dead) up to 49". They get netted pretty hard up there too so it's hard to convince non natives that they should release the bigger ones.
Guest
Posted 11/15/2012 3:57 PM (#598130 - in reply to #596949)
Subject: RE: Why are European Pike Huge


salt water
esoxaddict
Posted 11/15/2012 4:08 PM (#598132 - in reply to #598073)
Subject: Re: Why are European Pike Huge





Posts: 5340


sworrall - 11/15/2012 9:18 AM


We like to harvest the Pike we keep at about 22" to 25". Over and under that, back they go.

Posted from the deep woods in N Wi at Deer Camp.


I thought you WI guys killed every fish you catch??

We keep a couple a year in that size range. Any larger and they just don't have the same taste and texture.

Personally, I think reducing creel limits in WI is a good start. What I'd really like to see is some effective slot limits put in place. There's too many lakes and too little money to make it happen, though.
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