Northern Pike (Esox Lucius)
Northern Pike are the top predator on the Cobham River and Hidden Lake 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 as seen in this video.
Northern Pike on the Cobham River tend 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. Pike are capable of breeding at two years of age, and have a tendency 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 the larvae develops to the point where they are capable of feeding themselves, at which time larvae is 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 full-sized monster pike are food supply and water quality. The reason we built Cobham River Lodge on the Cobham is because having two river systems (Cobham and Paulson) together provide our Northern Pike an endless supply of Walleye, Perch, White Fish, and Burbot to feed on. 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 76,000 acres of untouched, which is private only to Cobham River Lodge. 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 for the northern pike life span to exceed 30 years.
In summary its simple, the fish need great conditions to allow for the time to grow to monster pike size that we are accustomed to at Cobham River Lodge. All Northern Pike at both Cobham River Lodge and Hidden Lake Outpost are released after reaching 30 inches. At that size as you can see below, most Northern Pike in the water are starting to be female. In addition to protecting our large egg laying Northern Pike, the Canadian Natural Resources have proven that offspring of larger females are genetically advantaged to the offspring of smaller fish. This means our fry and juvenile pike will have lower mortality rates, longer life spans, and grow faster than those found in other waters without the natural foundation that the Cobham River and Paulson River provides to our fishermen.