06-10-2013, 08:41 AM
Re: 1st encounter with Northern ... AYE!
Here in my area there's only a few bodies of water where you can expect to find northern pike. You tend to target them rather than catch one by mistake.
Chain pickerel on the other hand are very common in the same water where you would find large mouth bass and good sized ones around here are consistently around 22".
Here's how you can tell the difference
Scales are present on the upper half of the gill cover, but are absent on the lower half. The cheek area (located just forward of the gill plate), is fully scaled. Pike usually have five pairs of sensory pores along the underside of the lower jaw. The cheeks and gill covers of chain pickerel are fully scaled, and generally only four pairs of sensor pores are present on the lower jaw.
The fish is green with the sides prominently marked by yellow-green areas broken by dark, interconnecting lines resembling the links of a chain. The jaws are elongated containing large, sharp teeth; the large dorsal fin is located way back towards the caudal fin, which is forked.
The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.” --- Horace Kephart