There’s ugly and then there’s UGLY. And this fish is UGLY. Earlier this month, angler Daniel Stormly caught a northern pike with a massive jaw deformation.
“What the **** happened here!?” wrote Stormly in the caption of an Instagram video showing the strange catch. The video shows Stormly holding the body of a decent sized northern pike, before moving the fish’s mouth into the camera’s frame. The pike has a completely stubbed upper jaw and a toothy, fully-formed lower jaw that makes it look like a pre-teen with a wicked underbite. See it for yourself below.
Stormly operates the Instagram page “Apex Predator Passion,” which showcases many hefty pike that he catches in Europe. “For as long as I remember, the Esox Lucius has been my main target in my small home country Denmark, where I have hunted it since I could walk,” explains Stormly in one post. “Today, it is still the species I spend the most time on each year.”
Stormly has caught some true giants over the years—but in my opinion, the recent catch of the deformed pike takes the cake simply because of how strange it is. It’s hard to imagine how the fish was able to strike a lure or gulp down bait with such a severe mutation or survive in the wild with it. Ultimately, it’s a testament to the adaptability of some fish—as well as the intense predatory drive of northern pike that makes them so fun to target. After documenting the literally monstrous fish, Stormly shows it swimming away strong on the release.
Northern pike are found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The species got its name due to its resemblance to a “pike,” a type of spear used in Medieval Europe. The IGFA All-Tackle World Record was a 55-pounder caught by Lothar Louis in Germany in 1986.