Esox lucius


Pike are medium to large fish and can grow over to well over a metre in length. They are found in lakes, slow-flowing rivers and canals, which have plenty of weeds for them to hide in. Famously predatory, pike hide amongst the vegetation before bursting out with remarkable speed to catch their prey of fish, frogs, small mammals or ducklings. Young pike are called 'jack' and will eat small fish and invertebrates. Pike spawn between March and May, returning to the same place every year. A large female can produce up to 500,000 eggs.

How to identify

The pike is a long, slender fish with a narrow, tapered head, large eyes and a large mouth with many large teeth. It is greenish in colour with darker blotches and stripes.

Where to find it

Found throughout the country.

When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

To help to look after pike and other fish species, The Wildlife Trusts work with landowners, statutory bodies, water companies and other organisations to help manage river and wetland habitats sympathetically. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Esox lucius
Freshwater fish
Length: 60-90cm but up to 1.5m Weight: 2-7kg but up to 35kg Average Lifespan: 15-25 years
Conservation status