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NICE PIC! That northern is gonna have problems finishing off that fish though :D That or he will have reaaaaaaallllly bad heartburn. I would use pepcid ac for bait to catch that one ;) ;D
 

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I've watched even small fish swim around for hours with fish nearly half their length sticking out of their mouth. Actually, once they grab something that big, they usually do more resting on the bottom than swimming around. I had a largemouth in a tank. He was only 3" long, and would eat 1.5" fatheads routinely. The general rule is that if food will fit in a fish's mouth, the fish can successfully swallow and digest it. Occassionally prey does get stuck, though, for on reason or other, and the whole situation goes wrong. Pike have big mouths and long body cavities that are well-designed for eating some pretty big prey. They don't get big eating insects, that's for sure.
 
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Cutthroat said:
Occassionally prey does get stuck, though, for on reason or other, and the whole situation goes wrong. 
I once found a dead 26" walleye at Bonny Reservoir floating on the surface with a 13" gizzard shad stuck in its mouth. Evidently the shad was too big to swallow, too big to spit back out, and the walleye swam around with it lodged that way till she drowned.
 

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McFish said:
I have heard that pike prefer fish 1/3 their length. My 2c
generally. Pike will oftentimes attempt to eat fish (such as trout) half of their body length and most of the time they fail. That is why when you fish a lake where pike feed on trout you may catch some trout with teeth marks on them. Same with perch, or crappie, or whatever else is in there that the pike feed on though.

However, pike will often attack skinny fish, especially other pike, that are half of their length. So I'm told, I've never seen it. I have seen a dead pike with a trout in its mouth though. That was pretty cool.

Pike also love to eat dead or dying prey, especially in many colorado reservoirs where trout are stocked. Some of the trout stocked die. It just happens. Or they can't swim correctly, or something. The pike do an outstanding job of finding these fish and generally prefer these fish over other, more healthy ones. that's why a dead bait works so well for pike IMO. Much better than live when I've fished fisheries that allow live minnows. Pike, like all fish, prefer food that is the easiest for them to get. If they have to chase around living fish, they will and they will eat them. If they get to eat a lot of crawdads and other easy, high caloric prey, they won't bother to chase around many fish.

Pike are an awesome fish that is for sure, they grow large, are aggressive at times, the small ones are just about the best eating fish there is, and they fight great. Course it is always fun to watch one get dinner! Saw a pike eat a small bluegill once in the shallows. Very cool.

That picture is now my screen saver.
 
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