A Deformed Northern Pike Missing Its Upper Jaw Has The Fishing World Arguing Over What Happened

Northern Pike fish teeth up close

iStockphoto / filmfoto

The Northern Pike is one of the most popular freshwater gamefish in the Northern Hemisphere as they grow to be massive and are voracious eaters that offer up exciting strikes when they smash lures.

Found all throughout Canada, the Northern US, the United Kingdom, and Eastern Europe these fish are very well known in the modern world. Which makes this particular fish all the more intriguing as it has so many anglers across the globe divided on what could’ve happened.

The fish was brought to the world by angler Daniel Stormly back in August. He shared a video of the fish to his Instagram page, @apex_predator_passion, that overwhelmingly features pictures and Reels of Northern Pike while other species are occasionally peppered in.

But this fish stood at as it is missing its top jaw, a deformity that has everyone wondering (1) how the injury happened and (2) how the fish survived.

What in the world is going on with this Northern Pike?

The top comment on the video was from someone wondering how this fish even ate the angler’s hook. And it is valid question. This fish is missing several inches of what should be on top, including a massive portion of the jaw it would use to catch prey.

Another person astutely pointed out that the fish was evidently able to hunt despite the deformity. This is a sizable fish and that wound/deformity appears to be fully healed over, mostly likely caused from some sort of injury when it was smaller. But the fish has been able to hunt and stay beefy in spite of the injury/deformity that almost certainly rendered it unable to eat for some period of time earlier in its life.

An image on Wikimedia Commons shows a very similar deformity in another specimen. There is no additional information on the image but it opens the door to this being genetic and not caused by injury sustained from predation.

One thing this specimen and all Northern Pike have going for them is speed, similar to Muskie. They are able to generate huge bursts of speed and ambush prey before they see it coming. Pike have even been known to eat ducks:

This method of predation works wonders for them. The IGFA fishing world record for Northern Pike is a 55 pound, 1 ounce fish caught on the Lake of Grefeern, Germany back in 1986. As far freshwater fish go, they get BIG and LONG.