Nicknamed "waterwolves," members of the pike family are well known for their predatory nature.
Pike are generally found in shallow, warm water areas near weed beds or other cover. They are easily distinguished from other fishes by their long, slender bodies and duck-shaped bills. Their large mouths contain needle-sharp teeth which are very effective in grasping and holding fish. Pike have forked tails and a single dorsal fin located far back on the body. Their green or brassy coloring allows them to blend in easily with a weedy environment.
As a group, pike are remarkably variable in size. On the smaller end of the scale, the redfin pickerel rarely attains a weight exceeding one pound, whereas the largest member of the family - muskellunge - is one of the largest freshwater game fish and may weigh more than 50 pounds.
Six members of the pike family, some common, some not so common, are found in northern waters: chain pickerel, redfin pickerel, grass pickerel, northern pike, muskellunge, and tiger muskellunge.