A natural Cannibal
The pike is a hungry and mean fish. It won’t even stand in they way of eating its own kind. Studies show that pikes eating pikes, is a natural self-regulating instinct. An instinct we as anglers can use when targeting the biggest cannibals.
Cannibalism is actually rare amongst most fish, so why is the pike an exception? Countless cases exist on pikes feeding on pikes in lakes with good amounts of food sources and a varied biodiversity. So there is no need to feed on its own species, when food is abundant. The answer lies in the nature of the pike.
Being the top predator of the lake, the bigger pikes do not have enemies, but they have to be really big to feel safe. Studies show that cannibalism amongst pikes is important to keep a healthy population of predators in the area. Too many pikes will bring the biodiversity out of balance and the best way to keep this balance is to regulate the population. So pike cannibalism is a natural instinct of the pike.
A study, made by the Danish Technological University, revealed something very interesting. Biologists made a very detailed survey of a small lake. They counted the fish in the lake, measured their sizes and accounted for the general population of that environment - By doing this, they where able to follow the population of the lake and the size of the fish. After having done some of the first surveys, they found that some of the smaller pikes started missing. They where sure about there were no fishermen fishing the lakes, so fishermen did not catch them. So where did they go?
A natural cannibal
A 102 cm pike was the biggest of the lake and by studying this one they found that it was getting fatter each time another where missing. After having researched deeper into this, they found that there was only one reasonable explanation. The biggest pike of the lake was a true cannibal. The now 102 cm pike ate at least 4 of its conspecifics measuring 42, 55, 62 cm and whopping 74 cm. This means that the 102 cm fish ate a family member, which measured more than 2/3 of its own length and the other two victims where more than half the size of this cannibal. This is valuable information for the trophy fisherman to know.
The pike is an opportunistic animal. It has different hunting methods, depending on the place of being, the season or the movement of prey in that area. It is famous for being an expert in ambushed attacks. It can back into the weeds and hide between the grasses. Its perfectly evolved camouflage pattern gives it the ultimate advantage of being almost invisible to a passing prey. When breaking its cover, it shoots out from the weeds and sucks its prey into its mouth by creating a strong vacuum.
Another hunting technique is sneaking up behind the prey, like seen on many underwater footage. Often the pike will follow the lure or fish for some time, before deciding if it should strike. This is a dangerous manoeuvre for smaller pikes, because of the depth of the water. The opens waters of the lake are usually home to the biggest fish, which is most often female fish. Many fishermen has a idea about pikes being mostly close to the bottom or next to the banks, but the biggest mamas are also very much pelagic fish. They know the lake, and they know the dangers, but being this big, she also knows that she is the dominant predator. That is why the smaller pikes; with less life experience should not go away from their safe grounds. The dominant pike loves to hunt for lake trout, perch, roach and one of their favourites are smaller pikes.
Most anglers know that the roach is one of the pikes favourite meals and most people also know why it is not the perch. The perch has strong spikes on its back and on its gills. Can you imagine swallowing a perch? The risk of a spike getting drilled into the throat is pretty significant. The consequences of a spike can be deadly to a pike. How many spikes does the pike have? None. The most dangerous part of the pike is its backwards-pointing teeth made to grab hold of fish, but they are not made to fight a bigger fish and the pike is fairly slim compared to a high-backed bream or roach. This makes a pike easy to swallow and a great snack. That is why pikes hunting pikes makes sense. They are very easy to swallow.
The bigger pikes usually spawn first in the spring, the smaller ones usually follow right after. This is a common technique for big female pike to get their strength back up after spawning is to roam the spawning grounds to cannibalize on the smaller males. After spawning the smaller pike are weakened and thus an easy prey. Those smaller pike can easily be fooled by the intentions of its attractive and bigger relative, as it is hard for them to tell if their temporary partner has spawning or dinner on its mind. It is a savage world!
Do you see it? The Savage Gear 4D Line Thru Pike is so realistic that this lure can fool even experienced anglers.
Pike imitation lures have existed for many year and it has tricked many big pikes during the years, but with this new study of pikes eating huge specimens like of over 2/3 of its own body length, it is time to go big. That is why Savage Gear took the next step on going big, when targeting pikes. The 4D Line Thru Pike is 48 cm long and weights a whopping 750 gr. This is defiantly not a casting lure, but made for trolling the lakes and river deltas in search of the biggest cannibals. You need a very heavy rod with lots of backbone for this lure. A rod with a casting weight around 150-200 gr allows you to control the lure and make a proper hook setting. A braided line around 0,35-0,40mm gives you lots of strength and a direct contact. The lure is already fitted with a wire trace, so it is easy to snap it on and go fishing straight away.
The easiest way of fishing this lure is to fish it directly behind the boat and/or with paravans. If the lure is around 25 meter behind the boat with a speed of 3-4 km/h, the 750gr lure will fish around 2-3 meters below the surface. The optimal speed is around 4 km/h, but do not hesitate to go as low as 2 km/h or up to 6 km/h. In deep lakes, pikes have no problem seeing these from far away, and especially a big lure will catch their attention. If the lake is very clear the realistic versions are the best, but of visibility go below 2 meter, the strong colours are preferred.
Cast with pikes for pikes
If the 750gr / 48cm version is too big for your gear, don’t worry; the 4D Line Thru Pike are also available in smaller sizes, which are perfect for casting, so everyone can join the pike frenzy. This is a perfect lure for those post-spawning fish in the springtime, when pikes are dominating the shallow waters. With a raised rod the 25 cm versions will swim elegantly under the surface and trigger an explosive take. Very few fishermen fish with these lures, and that will give the early adopters a clear advantage. If you are fishing heavy fished waters, presenting a new lure can really trigger strikes.
Pike love pikes! Even with a big pike in its belly it will not stand in the way of one more. Incredible!
Line Thru system
Fishing line thru lures is becoming more popular, and with good reason when you are fishing big lures. You do not want a huge piece of rubber thrashing around during the fight. The line thru lures slides up the trace when the fish is hooked and only the hooks are left in the mouth of the pike. This dramatically increases chances of getting the fish to the boat. Also, in the hook-up moment, you will be able to set the hook firmly. The free moving hooks allows you to set the hooks deeper and with more power.
Pikes are territorial creatures that search for food in certain areas. When targeting big fish, it is always better for you to search for the fish rather than for the fish to search for your lure. There are no rules when it comes to targeting big fish. Sometimes the biggest fish will be in the most ridiculous places that you would never believe, so when fishing for pikes, do always bring a box with lots of different sizes and try new techniques – What we can be sure about it that pikes love pikes and they will keep being cannibals.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. There are no rules, when it comes to fishing big pikes. Fish big lures, small lures and crack the code faster.
Impossible fish. No wind and clear skies are some of the worst conditions when fishing pikes, but even in these conditions, the 750gr 4D Pike triggered this 120 cm beast.