Where can I catch a chain pickerel fish?
Populations can be found from East Texas to northern Florida, the Great Lakes to the coast and all the way up to Nova Scotia. So, chances are that no matter where you live in that region, there is a chain pickerel swimming around somewhere within a short drive.
What is the biggest pickerel ever caught?
What is the largest pickerel ever caught? The world-record chain pickerel was a 9-pound, 6-ounce fish caught in 1961 in Homerville, Georgia, by an angler with the fantastic name Baxley McQuaig Jr. (By comparison, the world record pike weighed just over 55 pounds, and the biggest grass and redfin pickerel were 1 pound and 2 pounds, 4 ounces …
Do chain pickerel taste good?
Chain pickerel, like northern pike, can be a great tasting fish that is worth filleting and cooking up. But there are some definite caveats that come along with that endorsement. One of the major benefits of pickerel is that it is a light, flaky fish.
How to catch chain pickerel?
How to catch Chain Pickerel. Anglers enjoy fishing for chain pickerels because these fish are known to put up a good fight. A good method for catching them is to use the “figure 8” technique with a flashy bait. For this technique, anglers throw out the bait, making light curves that alternate between moving close to and away from the boat.
What baits do bass eat?
The same baits that work for largemouth bass will catch pickerel just as well. Pickerel eat many of the same food items that bass eat to include baitfish, sunfish, mice, frogs, and snakes. The best baits for pickerel, in my opinion, are frogs, jerkbaits, and soft plastic swimbaits.
What bait do pickerel eat?
Pickerel prefer baitfish that is easy to swallow. Chubs, shiners, trout, and suckers are among the very best bait for pickerel. Bluegills and crappie with their sharp dorsal fins and deep bodies are tough to pickerel to eat. Yellow perch, even with their sharp fins, have a much more manageable body shape for swallowing. Whatever the easiest meal that is present in the lake, that is what pickerel will prefer.
What baits are used for pickerel fishing?
This period of time only lasts a couple of days but it can offer some of the best pickerel fishing of the year. Cast weedless baits like spinnerbaits (no stinger hook), frogs, and chatterbaits up as close to the water’s edge as possible. The noise will draw in pickerel, bass, and other aggressive species. You will catch a lot of hungry fish trying to pack on weight before the spawn.
How deep should I fish for pickerel?
Start shallow (about 8 feet) and continue placing tip-ups all the way out to 25 feet. Pickerel can and will be caught in that entire depth range. I’ve found most pickerel though will congregate in water 10+ feet in depth just because the water temps are warmer the deeper you go down. Just ensure your baits are positioned at different depths to locate fish looking to feed.
How to catch pickerel in the winter?
Even if the weeds are dead and decaying, they will attract baitfish and hungry pickerel. Drill a series of test holes in the ice at various locations. Drop your weighted hook down to the bottom and see if any leaves or weed particles come up attached to your hook. Once you locate a solid we ed patch, that is where the rest of your holes need to go. These are the best pickerel spots in winter.
Why do pickerel go down in the winter?
During summer and winter, most fishing will congregate in deeper water. In summer, pickerel will go down deeper to find cooler, more oxygen-rich water. The exact same thing occurs in winter but the deeper water is actually warmer than much shallower water. Use this knowledge to find better pickerel spots next time you’re on the water.
How to catch chain pickerel?
There is better or more passive way to catch chain pickerel than by trolling crankbaits, spinners, or spoons along deep weed edges. You will obviously need a boat to successfully perform this technique. By trolling along the edges of lilies, you will keep your baits right in the strike zone and bring out big bites from pickerel.
What size shiners should I use for pickerel?
Try fishing with shiners in the 2 to 4-inch range for the best results. Give the pickerel a little extra time to mouth the 4-inch shiner before setting the hook.
What bait do you use for small bass?
Fathead Minnows. Fathead minnows are a great bait for small bass, trout, as well as big yellow perch and bluegill. I think they can make decent but not spectacular pickerel bait. I think they are a bit too small for chain pickerel but you can catch small and even medium-sized pickerel with them.
How to catch a pickerel?
1. Locate Weeds. Pickerel prefer weeds to just about any other cover-type. Chain pickerel are one of the most specialized ambush hunters you can catch. Their slender bodies and coloration allow them to perfectly blend in among the weeds and ambush small fish and frogs.
Why do pickerel weeds die in the winter?
As winter moves along and heavy snows rest on the ice, the weeds will begin to die in shallow bays due to lack of sun. Pickerel may now move onto deeper shelves near the mouths of these shallow bays.
How long to dig a hole with chain pickerel?
With chain pickerel, you really need to find weeds to find good fishing. It can be soul-crushing to spend 30-minutes digging a hole with a hand auger only to realize you selected the wrong spot too shallow or too deep or without good weeds.
Where to find pickerel in the winter?
Where to Find Pickerel. In early winter once the ice forms and is safe to fish on, pickerel will be in shallow bays with plenty of weed cover. Here they will actively ambush baitfish like shiners, shad, and yellow perch.
How to find depth of a spool?
Use a clip-on weight to find the depth with your tip-ups. When the line stops leaving the spool, it is on the bottom. Completely pull your line out of the water noting the section of line that entered the water. Un-clip the weight and add live bait to your hook.
What lures are good for thin water pickerel?
Mepps Musky Killer. Topwater lures such as wobblers, prop lures and poppers will all score on thin-water pickerel, particularly if the water is dingy or a bit ruffled with wind. If it’s clear and still, however, sometimes these big, loud lures will actually spook the quarry.
What baits are good for picking up pickerel?
Spinnerbaits, spinners and weedless fishing spoons with pork or plastic dressings are also good. Though the fish tend to chew them up a bit, soft plastic jerkbaits are excellent for fooling pickerel.
How long should a minnow be?
Minnows should be 2-4 inches long, either store-bought or those you’ve seined in a creek or caught with a trap. I like to use light to medium weight spinning gear with 6-10 pound fishing line and a 6- to 7-foot rod.
How to present minnows to pickerel?
Impale the minnow lightly through the back for drift fishing, through both lips from the bottom up for casting or drift fishing. If the wind is blowing lightly, drifting is a great way to present minnows to pickerel. Let 30 to 50 feet of line out and drag the bait behind the boat.
What is the food of a pickerel?
Pickerel consume frogs, mice, insects and small snakes, but their overwhelming favorite food consists of other fish: minnows, chubs, other pickerel and panfish.
What fish do you catch with chain pickerel?
If you’re looking for a change of pace from the usual fishing for bass, trout and panfish fare, here’s an overlooked gamefish you might want to have a go at — the chain pickerel.
What are the three methods of catching pickerel?
I’ve been a pickerel fan since I was a teenager and have found the fish can be caught with all three major angling methods: lures, flies and bait.