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Blue Mouth Pike

8/14/20 @ 9:41 PM
ORIGINAL POST
esoxwaterwolf
User since 2/3/20

Tonight I caught a small (about 18 inch) pike fishing a small river in southern Wisconsin. I immediately noticed a bluish mouth and fins. The mouth is definitely more noticeable than the fins. I took a some pics, than sent her back wondering what the deal with that. I figured maybe it was due to chemicals in the water way. 

After doing some research it appears that it was a fairly rare fish with possibly a genetic difference. Other researcher shows that it can be common in spring northern when the water is cold. Well it’s August and the water isn’t cold. 

I am curious if anyone else has caught a pike like this and any opinion on this subject. Maybe it’s not as rare as the research says. Who knows?  Thank you!

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8/21/20 @ 8:23 AM
BugleTrout
BugleTrout
User since 9/27/01

Wicasa, I don't know what lake it was. My cousin bought a place on Sturgeon Lake a few years ago. When he first bought it, he could access the lake via a dirt trail. One of the locals took him there. The trail has since been barricaded off so I've not been there the few times I've been up there with him. But I can say that it was in the Silver Dollar/Sturgeon Lake area. 

8/20/20 @ 11:24 AM
BugleTrout
BugleTrout
User since 9/27/01

My cousin has caught walleyes in Canada with blue fins and a blue hue to the body. I looked it up and agree that it's a reaction in their mucus related to UV rays. 

The portage lake that he caught them on allowed harvest. He put a couple in a bucket of clear water and the water turned blue. Perhaps stress caused the pigment to leech out?

8/20/20 @ 8:41 AM
mendota
MEMBER since 12/19/01

Well, I read that article, and I think since you got that fish pinned down, next time you need to bring along a UV flashlight and see if that pike's mouth glows red!  

Would be an awesome photo, and would also settle the question a bit.

8/18/20 @ 9:33 PM
esoxwaterwolf
User since 2/3/20

Thank you NPikeguy and Mendota for your comments and ideas. 

I caught the same fish tonight so I was able to post better pictures. 

Also, I got a chance to speak with a fish biologist from the DNR and he believes it is the same phenomenon found with walleyes that make cyanin in their mucus to perhaps offer protection from the sun. Anyway, he sent me a link to the article. I am posting it here for anyone to see. 

https://www.boreal.org/2019/04/18/195197/blue-walleye-mucous-could-be-a-sun-block-for-fish-says-american-researcher


8/17/20 @ 1:21 PM
mendota
MEMBER since 12/19/01

I will echo that we have caught a few pike with blue tongues out on Mendota over the years, but none with such extensive coloring as yours.  Very pretty fish.

8/17/20 @ 11:46 AM
NPike_Guy
NPike_Guy
User since 8/25/08

I caught one like that a few years ago on Mendota, apparently the blue pigment comes from zooplankton eaten by smaller fish that are then consumed by the pike. Classic bioaccumulation. Why only some predators show the pigment in the overall population? I do not know.

8/16/20 @ 9:49 PM
esoxwaterwolf
User since 2/3/20

I don’t know if 4Gill is trying to be cute or funny but I posted this topic because I am truly wondering if anyone else has caught a like this. I named the thread “blue mouth pike,” because if I would have stated “blue pike,” that would have caused confusion as blue pike were a strain of Great Lakes walleye not Pike. The pike I caught was bluish in color on its fins and mouth. Here are some pics I found online similar to my fish. 

Thank you to the others have left nice comments or similar stories. I have reached out to a local DNR biologist to see what they think. 

8/16/20 @ 9:11 AM
4GILL
4GILL
User since 3/1/15

Last week I caught a Rhinogill (Lepomis macrochirus rhinoceros) while fishing on Lake Owen in Bayfield county. Known for the large horn used by the males to fend off rivals during the spring mating season, these were once common in Wisconsin up until the 1930's.  Unfortunately, black market fishermen seeking the valuable horn which was used in Eastern medicine drove them to the brink of extinction.  Most often seen in zoological aquariums, they are still found in a few remote lakes where poachers have not overfished them.  They are a rare occurrence in the wild.    This one was photographed and released.

Gill

8/15/20 @ 12:43 PM
river_chaser
User since 10/3/12

Cant say anything about a blue mouth pike.  Fishing the BWCA 20 yrs ago I caught a small pike, maybe 15 or 20 inch that was strikingly blue in color. Never saw anythng like that.

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