Northern Pike are the top predator on the Cobham River, while being a very aggressive voracious eater that will attack almost anything that gets too close including ducklings and other pike one-third to a half their size.
Northern pike on the Cobham River tends to spawn in April or May (when water temperature first reaches about 9 °C (48 °F)). Shallow Bays are a favorite spawn location for Northern Pike, where the temperatures are warmer, and the vegetation is plentiful for fertilized eggs to attach. Northern pike is capable of breeding at two years of age and tends to lay a large number of eggs (8,500 eggs per pound, in other words, a 10-pound northern pike will lay on average 85,000 eggs this spring).
Within 16 days, the eggs hatch into larvae which live off their egg sacks until they develop to the point where they can feed themselves, at which time larvae are called fry. The fry will start swimming and feeding on planktonic while developing scales and fins; once working fins have developed, the fry has transitioned to a juvenile, otherwise known as a fingerling. The juvenile stage lasts until they start to interact with other adult fish.
The primary factors that allow Northern Pike to grow into a full-sized monster pike are our food supply and water quality. We built Cobham River Lodge on the Cobham because having two river systems (Cobham and Paulson) together provides our Northern Pike an endless supply of Walleye, Perch, White Fish, and Burbot to feed on. In addition, both river systems pass within 1 mile of our dock, which provides the most current and cleanest water.
The two river systems feed into our untouched 76,000 acres, private only to Cobham River Lodge northern pike fishermen. Unlike the warmer southern waters where the average life span of a northern pike is 10 to 12 years, the cold clear Northern Canada waters on the Cobham River allow the northern pike life span to exceed 30 years.
In summary, it’s simple; the fish need excellent conditions to allow the time to grow to the monster northern pike size we are accustomed to at Cobham River Lodge. Therefore, all northern pike at Cobham River Lodge must be released. In addition to protecting our large egg-laying northern pike, Canadian Natural Resources have proven that larger females’ offspring are genetically advantageous to smaller fish’s offspring making Cobham River Lodge the best Northern Pike fishing in Canada.
This means our fry and juvenile pike will have lower mortality rates and longer life spans and grow faster than those found in other waters without the natural foundation that the Cobham River and Paulson River provide to our fishermen.