I've lived up here (Vilas) for almost 5 years now. I finally have a pretty good sense of where to go for good pike fishing. In my experience, the pike in Southern Wisconsin average consistently larger than up here. I've fished all sorts of lakes up here, even plenty "off the grid".
The pike up here seem to average between 18-23 inches. As for a big pike, anything from 26-30 may show up from time to time. But rare. Yes, there are trophies out there, but I have yet to get a really big pike up here. In fact, even hearing anyone talk about a nice pike they recently caught-just doesn't happen often at all.
In SE Wisconsin, catching a 30 incher isn't too uncommon.
Reasons for smaller pike up here? Perhaps lack of a variety of bait fish up here. Water fertility. The 5 fish no size limit are all things I think of. Plus, shorter growing season.
What's your experience? Wanted to keep this question to the pike thread.