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Northern Pike Teeth - Do They Lose Them & When?

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Do northern pike lose their teeth in the winter or any season of the yr? When?

People are telling me there lose there teeth in the winter and summer.

I google this seem to find mixed questions.

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I was always told this was a fake...some people would say muskie's lose their teeth too, that's why they aren't caught very often in the winter. I think this is false..but maybe we could send this in to mythbusters?

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A buddy told me that they lose they teeth during the winter. I thought the same thing yeah right and laughed about it. Well last week we caught about 6 small pike and no teeth. I still didn't believe it because they were so small. Then I hauled in a 35 in. pig and I noticed no teeth again so being on the edge I felt around in it's mouth and there only found one small tooth less than an 1/8 of an inch. Myth busted!!! They do lose there teeth. One of the little guys still had a good amount though so don't get comfortable lippen them. eek

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Doesn't happen. They loose teeth here and there but not all once during the winter.

The other version of the myth is that they loose them in the dog days of summer and that's why they are tougher to catch during that time.

What happens to the teeth of northern pike in winter? I have heard people say the fish lose their teeth in February and don't bite as often on bait. Others have said that the teeth in some fish appear to be loose at this time of year.

John Berklich, Hibbing

There's a long-standing belief, likely begun by ancient anglers in search of an excuse for their lousy luck, that northern pike lose teeth at certain times of the year. In fact, this is nothing but a fishy folk tale. According to DNR fish biologist Don Pereira, northerns may occasionally lose teeth in an unfortunate run-in with particularly tough prey or bait, but there's no evidence they do so regularly. For more on northern pike, see "For the Love of Pike" (May-June 2003).

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A buddy told me that they lose they teeth during the winter. I thought the same thing yeah right and laughed about it. Well last week we caught about 6 small pike and no teeth. I still didn't believe it because they were so small. Then I hauled in a 35 in. pig and I noticed no teeth again so being on the edge I felt around in it's mouth and there only found one small tooth less than an 1/8 of an inch. Myth busted!!! They do lose there teeth. One of the little guys still had a good amount though so don't get comfortable lippen them. eek

shenanigans

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they will lose there big teeth on the outside of there mouth. but not the small ones on the inside. dont know why but i see it often. i havent put any asumption with losing there teeth and not biting, but i usally spear so they dont usally bite anything eather. they are a bit less agressave with no teeth.

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If memory serves me correctly, I read somewhere that pike lose teeth regularly much like a shark. The back rows slowly move forward to replace the ones lost. It's an on-going thing throughout their lifetime. I'm going on memory here so take it for what it's worth.

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Hiya -

Another in a long list of fisherman's excuses for not catching fish. smile

Pike and muskies do lose a tooth here and there - they break them off I suppose. Someplace around here I have a VERY large tooth a muskie left stuck in a wooden bait a couple years ago. (Fish wasn't that big, but he had some chompers...). OTOH, I caught one the same year that was dang near a gummer - almost no big teeth on the bottom jaw.

Anyhow, one here and there due to wear and tear, but no seasonal loss like deer shedding their antlers

Cheers,

Rob Kimm

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I have read articles from the DNR that says this is a myth but we have caught several large pike with almost no teeth. I have never caught a musky that has lost a majority of their teeth? Here is a link to a pike we caught last March and you can see that most of the teeth are missing. 

 

It is interesting why and how this happens. I will try and dig up some more info.....

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As RK said they lose them throughout the year and they are constantly replaced. Really they only have a few bigger teeth. If they were missing just 2 of them it could easily appear to be a gummer to you. It won't affect their temperament though, pike don't chew. They only need the teeth to hold onto what they catch. Even without the big teeth they still have enough to do it. And for the bite size bits many of us fish with they'll just completely inhale it anyway.

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Have you ever wondered how Northern Pike manage to feed on such variety of prey? They are not very picky when it comes to food – whether it’s a fish, frog, or even a waterbird like the duck. But how can they chew through skin, feathers, and scales? What about losing their teeth?

Northern Pike are known to be vicious predators who are mostly at the top of the food chain. For that, Northern pike use their pin-sharp teeth which are extremely efficient in ripping into its prey. Pike have multiple rows of sharp teeth to ensure a great grip on their meal. 

I did some research on pike teeth, and in this article, we are going to look at some of the most frequently asked questions on this topic.

How Many Teeth Do Pike Have?

Have you ever looked into a pike’s mouth and wondered how many teeth they actually have? It looks like a million, right?

Pike have teeth in multiple rows. The main row of teeth runs on both upper and lower jawline. These are up to an inch long teeth, that can tare through their prey like butter.

But adding to that, pike also have multiple rows of teeth on the sealing of its mouth. These teeth help to keep the prey from escaping – once the prey is in the mouth, there is no getting out.

The biggest pike carcass found (which also beats the current world record) is 50 inches long. That carcass had 700 teeth in its mouth.

Pike can have from 300-700 teeth in its mouth as it grows.

How Big Are Pike Teeth?

We just learned that pike can have upwards to 700 teeth in their mouth. This made me think about the pike teeth length.

Just how long can pike teeth grow?

While the length of pike teeth can vary across their mouth and depending on their size, pike teeth grow up to 1 inch (2,5 cm) long. This being said, only a few teeth in their mouth grow to be as long. Other teeth are can grow up to 0.2-0.4 inches (0,5-1 cm).

Could you imagine having up to 700 teeth in your mouth and some of them being 1 inch long? Put that together with the sheer strength of the pike and you can see why they are on top of the food chain.

Do Northern Pike Shed Their Teeth?

When talking about pike shedding their teeth, people seem to divide into two sides – the ones who claim pike do shed their teeth in summer, and the ones who dismiss that theory.

Until this day, there is actually no evidence that Pike shed their teeth regularly – e.g. like it’s also falsely believed that Walleyes shed their teeth in August. It seems to be a fishers tale which has been spreading for decades. 

However, pike lose their teeth occasionally, if there has been an injury – e.g while engaging in an attack goes wrong. In this case, the teeth might be broken off or injured. Pike can also lose their teeth if there is an infection under the teeth.

Can Pike Bite Through Braid?

Braided lines are known for their strength which is why many fishers tend to use them. It’s especially good for pike fishing as the braid doesn’t give back as much as, for example, monoline. This makes it easier to hook when a pike grabs your lure.

Because the same strength braided line has a smaller diameter than the monofilament, the braid is also used to simply put more line to the reel. This allows for much longer casts.

Can pike bite through the braided line? Although the braided line absorbs tension better than the monoline, it also has a low resistance to abrasion. Meaning, it’s an easy target for sharp edges or for pike’s teeth.

This shouldn’t scare you away from using braided line for pike fishing. However, it’s a good idea to use a 2-3 ft monofilament leader at the end of your line, which can absorb the initial impact and it has a much higher resistance to abrasion.

When fishing for pike, it’s also a good idea to add a wire leader at the very end of the line, as this eliminates the possibility of a pike biting through the monoline leader, you just added to the braided line.

Can Pike Bite Through Fluorocarbon?

Fluorocarbon lines are another great alternative for monofilament lines because fluoro doesn’t absorb water. This means it has the same strength, sensitivity, and handling below the surface as it does when dry. It feels and acts the same on your first cast as it does on your last.

As with braided line, fluoro line also has a smaller diameter at the same strength of line – which, again, allows for more line on your reel.

This being said, fluoro lines don’t have great shock strength and thus may break on the initial strike. Just bear in mind to use a suitable strength fluoro for pike fishing.

So can pike bite through fluorocarbon line? Although fluoro doesn’t have as low resistance to abrasion as braided line, it’s still not a match for a pike’s razor-sharp teeth.

Is it a good idea to use fluoro when fishing for pike? I would say, it’s actually a great line to use when pike fishing, but you should consider adding a wire leader or at least a heavier fluoro leader at the end of the fishing line.

Can Pike Teeth Hurt Humans?

Pike have a huge jaw and very sharp teeth, which is a good reason to be a bit concerned about them attacking you.

But can the razor-sharp pike teeth hurt a human? After researching this topic, I can conclusively say, that pike attacks are not lethal. However, if they end up the attacking a human, their teeth can create quite the damage. So, I wouldn’t go sticking your fingers in a pike’s mouth.

You may search for pike attack photos on Google and see for yourself – but it gets bloody, so if you have a weak stomach, I wouldn’t recommend it.

There have been some reports of pike attacking swimmers. But humans aren’t a real target for pike, as they don’t usually hunt for prey bigger than 1/3 of themselves.

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3 hours ago, roony said:

Which appendage did it latch onto del?

My middle finger.  Bled like a stuck pig.  Totally saturated my handkerchief.   If you were here I would show you which finger.

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