A pike’s age is based on the number of year rings in the shell but it can be harder to determine when it comes to large pike. A better gauge of determining age can be obtained by cutting through and studying some bones in the fish’s head.
It been found that some pike, based on shell analysis, have been found over 30 years of age but because shell analysis is not entirely accurate, experts do not agree with those impressive numbers. In the US, by using a more proven method, one study found that pike did not live more 24 years , but in Sweden one study has not, with certainty, been able to prove pike live longer than 16 years. In any case, one can determine that a pike older than 15 years is rare, and even more so after 20 years. In South Finland one discovered that a pike of 16.5 lbs (7-8 kg) are usually 12-14 years old, but this does not mean that the really big pike which can weigh about 44 lbs (20 kilos) are really old. Instead, those pikes which achieve exceptional size, are fish with special growth abilities, and have grown quicker than other pike right from the beginning.