Lake, Stream, Swamp, Vegetation
1 - 2 pounds
8" - 16"
The Redfin Pickerel (also known as redfin pike), highly associated with its cousins the chain pickerel and the grass pickerel, is a member of the pike family (Esocidae). What makes it different from its distant relatives are its gaudy red fins and very small size. There are two members of the pickerel: the Redfin Pickerel and the grass pickerel.
The snouts of Redfin Pickerels are shorter than their cousins’. They possess dark vertical bars on their bodies absent the chain-like markings found in the chain pickerel. These dark bars mark the area slightly below the eye extending downwards (to the base of the caudal fin). The Redfin Pickerels’ bodies are typically colored brown to cream, whereas their vertical barring is brown to olive or silvery-green. Their lower fins are reddish; their dorsal and tail fins have no dark markings.
As an ambush predator, Red Pickerels wait for their smaller prey that comes within their range of attack among thickly vegetated areas. They feed on crayfish, smaller fishes, and insect larvae. Newly hatched Red Pickerels eat the eggs of insects and spawning fishes.
On average, the Redfin Pickerel measures around 5 to 9 inches. Some may reach around 11 inches. Redfin Pickerels are known to live up to 5 years, though some are reported to have survived until 8. Juvenile Redfin Pickerels grow rapidly. They develop their stripe marking at 2 years old.