Northern pike is very popular with both anglers and consumers, but they have a fearsome reputation when it comes to their teeth.
This article will explore the facts about northern pike teeth and dispel some myths that you may not be aware of.
What is the Northern Pike Fish?
One of the most popular game fish in North America, the northern pike is an apex predator that can be found all over the continent,
Though it has a fearsome reputation for its sharp teeth, these razor-sharp incisors are often misunderstood. In fact, northern pikes have some of the least deadly dentition among other freshwater fish.
A northern pike’s teeth are designed to grip and release prey rather than tear flesh like saltwater predators with pointed teeth. While Pike’s sharp fang like teeth are designed to grip their food, rows of smaller teeth shape inward toward their throat to ensure that the prey does not get away. Pike typically bite down with their sharp teeth and strong jaws and prey are unlikely to escape once in the pike’s mouth.
Northern pike large sharp teeth, smaller angled teeth, and strong jaw make them a strong predator in lakes. Northern Pike diets consist primarily of smaller fish and crayfish, but they will also feed on amphibians, rodents, small birds, or any animal unlucky enough to get too close to them.
These carnivorous mammals will wait patiently at the bottom of deep water until their potential meal swims by before attacking head first at lightning speeds.
After securing their victim in place with its mouth clamped shut behind the head and one fin propping them up against the bottom of shallow water, northern pikes then swallow whole what could sometimes be multiple times larger than themselves.
How Sharp Are Northern Pike Teeth?
A Northern Pike has seven rows of teeth, on the top and bottom of the mouth. When they are born, they have a row of teeth on each jaw, with 15 teeth in each row.
As they grow and eat, their teeth will move up to the next row, so that by the time they are around 8 years old, all seven rows will be present and accounted for.
The first three rows are made up of incisors (or cutting teeth) which are hard to see. The 4th row is made up of premolars (or grinding teeth) and finally, the 5th row is made up of molars (or chewing teeth). All these teeth are razor sharp when they erupt from the gums.
But as the pike gets older, some of these teeth may need to be removed because there not being used anymore or some may become broken or worn down due to excessive use or overuse.
How Many Teeth Do They Have?
Northern Pike have between 300 and 700 teeth! The fish has seven rows of teeth, the first four being replaced as they wear down. You may be wondering how these teeth make the fish so dangerous.
Northern Pike use their teeth to capture and kill their prey. Once they bite into their prey, they then let go but will continue to chew until the flesh of their victim becomes detached from its bones.
They also use this technique to avoid letting go when something grabs hold of them by biting harder into their prey or attacker while continuing to swallow what they have already captured
How Long Are Northern Pike Teeth?
A northern pike’s teeth are long, thin, and pointed. They can be up to three inches in length, but they are not all the same length.
The teeth are serrated, like a saw blade, which gives them the cutting edge needed to shear through flesh with ease.
These teeth allow northern pike to consume their prey in one swift movement. In most cases, the northern pike will open its mouth wide enough that it is able to swallow an entire fish or frog whole.
Do Northern Pike Bite Through Line?
Yes, but they don’t really like to. They prefer to grab their prey and swallow it whole. But when they do bite, their teeth are razor-sharp and can cut through most lines with ease.
When a northern pike bites down on your line, you’ll feel a sudden jerk as the line goes taut, then it will start to move away from you as the fish starts its fight for freedom.
Once it breaks free of the tension created by your reel, the fish will take off in a direction that is dictated by its current position in relation to other factors such as depth and water flow.
If you catch a northern pike by hook and line, always unhook the fish from the tackle before releasing it back into the water.
If not, your hook will likely stay inside the fish and be very difficult to remove. If you are using a net to catch a northern pike, be sure to wear gloves when touching the net because they have sharp teeth that can easily puncture the skin.
It is also important to note that if you are catching more than one northern pike at a time by net, never touch them with your bare hands because they can also hurt other fish in close proximity.
Can a Northern Pike Bite You?
Pike have teeth that are designed for grabbing and holding prey. They don’t have any teeth designed for chewing, which is why they swallow their food whole.
Pike can bite humans, but they typically won’t unless they’re provoked or hungry. If you do get bitten by a pike, you should rinse the wound with soap and water, apply antibiotic ointment to the wound, and see a doctor as soon as possible.
You’ll also want to keep an eye on your skin for signs of infection like redness, swelling, or pus. And if your finger swells up after being bitten by a Northern Pike? Well, we hope you were wearing some sort of protective gloves!
Northern Pike are a freshwater fish found in North America. It has an elongated body and its teeth are used to grip prey while feeding.
It can grow up to six feet in length and weigh up to fifty pounds. When it feels threatened, the Northern Pike will open its mouth wide to show off a row of sharp teeth.
If you’re worried about being bitten by one, don’t worry! They don’t bite people unless they feel threatened or provoked.