You know I love the whole predator eats prey “thing”. Those dramas are fascinating to me and if you are an angler, you better have a good understanding of those relationships. To catch fish, you not only have to figure out where they are, you have to get them to bite. That is why having an understanding of what your target fish are preying upon is doubly important.
I found this video on the internet, and I love it. No, it is not Nebraska, but it does involve northern pike. It is short, take a quick watch and then let me share a couple of observations.
Yes, pike eat other pike! Apex, top-of-the-food-chain predator fish may eat anything small enough to fit through their throats. If that is one of their own species, they do not care, protein is protein! That is especially true “up north” where that video was filmed. Those northern waters are known for producing big fish, big pike, but they are relatively infertile. Fish grow large in those waters only because they live a long time. To survive they are ready to eat whatever they can find, and that is why fishing is so easy, so good, on those waters–the fish are hungry!
I have mentioned in my blog that I am a believer in big baits for big fish ( Optimal Foraging Theory ). Neither of the pike in that video were particularly large, but the biggest one sure was trying to eat the little one, and the little one was way bigger than the baits most anglers will use.
Notice where that video was shot–at the back end of a bay. Corners or “cups” are great places to find predator fish! Everyone knows about points, outside turns, and how productive they can be, but those inside turns, those corners can be just as good, even better. Back in that bay, a pike could position itself to trap prey up against the shoreline where they could not escape “Jaws”. Keep that in mind, it will put more fish on the end of your line.