Lake Champlain

Northern Pike Gallery
Chaeck out our northern pike catches in this gallery!

Healthy NORTHERN PIKE like this nine pounder are common in Lake Champlain and it's tributaries. In fact, we catch many over ten pounds every season. In the fall of 2012 a young lad landed one over sixteen pounds on a charter with Captain Mick. We catch them from ice-out through late fall but the prime months are August, September and early October. Northern Pike are the most abundant member of the Esox genus. They exist naturally throughout the entire lake basin. These fish can reach over 45 inches in length on Lake Champlain. Several over twenty pounds have been recorded here. A trophy specimen in the 38 inch range will often weigh over ten pounds. Virtually all of the pike this size and larger are females, a consideration that sportsmen should take into account when determining which fish to keep for supper. Check the links below to read more of an Esox article that Captain Mick wrote in 2013.

Hybrid Pike/Pickerel Gallery
There are some beautiful fish in this hybrid pike/pickerel gallery

After boating hundreds of pike and pickerel each charter season it becomes obvious to this Captain which is which, but sometimes we catch a cross between the northern pike and chain pickerel, a hybridized version, with an odd mixture of characteristics and diagonal lines on the flank. Here is a beautiful example of a hybrid pickerel/pike. Note the green tint and diagonal lines. Also, the cheeks and gills are three fourths covered in scales and below the eye is a dark teardrop stain. These are PICKEREL characteristics. The hybrid occurs in nature when milt from a male pickerel fertilizes the eggs of northern pike as their spawning seasons and territory overlap.


The Great Chazy River, the Missisquoi River and Otter Creek are the three tributaries where anglers might hook up with a muskellunge in the Lake Champlain Basin. Chris Beebe’s Vermont State Record Muskellunge was caught in 2005 in the Missisquoi River, but it was likely stocked in the Great Chazy River in New York. The last known native population of muskellunge in Vermont inhabited the Missisquoi River above the Swanton Dam. In 1979 that small indigenous stock was poisoned and wiped out by a pollution spill. Click here for a BIG surprise!
Fish Links

Back to the Angler's Guide Home Page

Back to the Species list

Read Captain Mick's latest article
Lake Champlain's Esox Genus,
The Pike Family


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