Predator or Prey?

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Gray Catchpole

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yes graham
in a local canal, in south wales, the fish where alot smaller than these two though, barely a pound, as we reached out to try and sort the mess, the fish seperated on there own, so what do you think they where upto, greedy maybe?
 

GrahamM

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Greedy, that's what the lads in Ireland reckoned when they separated them. I once caught a 12lb pike that regurgitated a 3lb tench. That was a bit greedy as well, for it had just taken my mackerel tail and couldn't possibly have been hungry.
 
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BUDGIE BURGESS

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Made me review my view a bit here Graham.We all remember Dr Barrie Rickards using a photo like this a few years ago? At the time a lot of people trashed his ideas.The reason being was that a lot of us had seen Pike in a similar predicament during netting operations(or dare I say it-in the bad old days when we kept them in keepnets) the Pike in these incidents had got into this predicament by no concious desision to eat or fight but merely because they had been snapping away in a confined area.Any one else done nettings and had Bream with small Roach in their mouths,Tench swallowing eels etc etc!I certainly have.These fish had all got into this position acidently.I am fairly sure that Barrie's origonal pic was in a net to?(Please correct me if I am wrong Barrie) However these two fish were found like this? then like I said it will make me think again.
 
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BUDGIE BURGESS

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Then again they could always have been retained by an angler in a sack or net etc and returned like this?
 
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Andrew Calvert

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Please don't ask me where I read this, it was an old journal or Buller or the like detailing the life of the pike, but this stated that when combined the highest cause of death among pike up to 8ozs (I think it was 8ozs) was being swallowed head first by a similar sized sibling and obviously choking on a similar sized sibling. These when combined give a higher mortality rate than being eaten by larger pike. I cannot find the particular article so I cannot totally vouch for the authenticity of the article, sizes, percentages etc. but nevertheless it's interesting, and on many occasions I've caught (or at least landed to find them drop the bait) many very small pike with a bait not much larger than themselves in their jaws.
 

GrahamM

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All, take a look at the photos in the news section 'Greedy Pike No. 2'.

Budgie, I reckon it's just a natural instinct with them and nothing to do with being kept in a net. Look at the 3lb tench that my 12-pounder spit up. This fish was lodged in its throat - and yet it still took a mackerel tail!

Andrew, I've read that somewhere as well, and I can't remember where yet. Maybe somebody with a better memory than us can throw some light on it.
 
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Chris Bishop

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I'm sure it's in Buller, along with a famous photo of two six pounders, one choked to death on the other.

By the way that damaged fish from the other week... mate of mine caught one with identical scars from a Fen drain which has otters nearby last week.
 
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Philip Inzani

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I remember reading a story by I think Vic Gillings, it was about a big Pike at Wraysbury 2 that took both his and his mates baits situated quite some distance apart in one very fast run..he said it did not put up much fight due to the amount of iron mongery in it mouth!
I have not seen anything quite as startling as that picture myself but I have landed some very small Pike on baits far too big for them to swallow. It was more by luck than judgement that the hook got into its mouth. Also you only have to look at the number of aborted runs you get on big livebaits (at least on the waters I fished) to think that a lot of smaller Pike must be having a go.
I think it happens with Perch as well, there seems to be times when they seem to forget their size and just go bananas in their attempt to swallow something far too big. I think it could be just down to instinct, this is why I am more confident with live baits than static deadbaits. I think there are times when a Pike just has to have a go at a wounded or injured fish even if it is not hungry.

Also I may be way off but I have watched Pike spawning on occasion and I noticed that some of the smaller males seemed to sort of "fight" each other, turning away then smashing back into the other Pike with its mouth and gills flaring open. I wonder if situations like this could be due to something like that as well?

Anyone else seen this ?
 
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Chris Bishop

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There's something similar in ET's book, big fish on the rampage, took two baits in a matter of a few seconds. Great read.

I've watched them spawning a few times and they do get seriously mental. They really bash each other about, but so do all fish. This is why male pike are smaller - they make eye contact as they thrash about, which ensures the milt passes over the eggs. So there you go.
 

GrahamM

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Definitely the law of the aquatic jungle. They'd scoff their own grandmothers if they'd fit down their gullet.
 
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Paul Williams

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This may be relavant, i had two largish tropical fish called Oscar's, i dont Know their latin name! anyway i have had to get rid of one, it became very aggressive to the other, it started ramming it with it's jaws flaring wide open, i am conviced that had they been long large mouthed fish they would have got locked together, not to eat each other, just an act of aggresion gone wrong.
 
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