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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Southern Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
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    63

    Default Targeting Pickerel

    In a few weeks I'll be visiting the in-laws in Massachusetts. Hopefully I'll be able to spend a few days fishing, and I'd like to spend some time trying to catch a pickerel. From what I've read, most people consider them to be a nuisance but they're not very common around where I live so I'd like to catch one to say I have. Any recommendations for what weight rod to use or flies that you've caught them on (intentionally or not) would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    D'Iberville Ms
    Posts
    571

    Default Re: Targeting Pickerel

    My one and only pickerel bit a black and chartreuse Clouser minnow, But I think any baitfish imitation should work.

    Also try the search function, found this article and several other threads,
    Fly Fishing for Chain Pickerel - By Rob Woodruff

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Posts
    16,182
    Blog Entries
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    Default Re: Targeting Pickerel

    I used to catch them in Pennsylvania and always thought of them as small pike. As was posted above almost any streamer pattern with a bite leader will work. Their teeth will cut but you can catch them on 15 pound if you want to avoid steel leader wire. Rods? I caught them on a 5 weight so I'd say anything 5 or over and whatever length you have.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Deltona, Florida
    Posts
    629

    Default Re: Targeting Pickerel

    I've caught a lot of them down here, in Florida. Almost all of them taken on a 3 or 5 inch Rapala. When I am conventional fishing for bass, I usually use soft plastics. Never caught on on those. Sometimes I switch to the Rapala. Hard runs of a foot or so, followed by pauses. The Pickerel almost always hit on the pause ... ON the pause. It's like they were an inch behind it and as soon as it paused they took it. Bass, on the other hand, would take it a few seconds AFTER the pause. I always knew which kind of fish hit, it was that consistent.

    So, streamers that imitate local minnows and fry ... hard strips followed by tight line pauses. Don't slack up on the pause ... just stop moving the fly, and be ready to set the hook.

    Good luck
    Ex-Marine ... Quondam Fidelis

    Barbed hooks rule!

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  8. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    quiet corner, ct
    Posts
    8,924

    Default Re: Targeting Pickerel

    We have a lot of them around here and it's the little "hammer handles" that have the sharpest teeth and they will bite you off evey time if you're not using a heavy tippet.
    The larger ones have spaces between their teeth where your leader tends to settle, so they're not that bad.
    The classic Daredevil lure colors work best. Red/white, Red/yellow, Black. And I like a seaducer style fly, but most anything will get their attention.
    In my neighborhood ponds they get up to 22 -24 inches, but even at that size, they're not great fighters. An initial struggle and they kinda give up.
    They biggest issue though is they're slimely

    Seaducer

    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.” --- Horace Kephart

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  10. #6

    Default Re: Targeting Pickerel

    They'll hit almost any big streamer. I caught big one this spring while casting a 4" smelt-pattern streamer for landlocked salmon at the mouth of a brook during the smelt run. I got bitten off twice and realized it wasn't salmon and bad knots or bad tippet, so I tied in a wire leader and sure enough, hooked up with a big snot rocket.

    Tight lines,
    Bob
    At the southern tip of Lake Champlain

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  12. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Southern Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Targeting Pickerel

    Thank you all for your replies. I'll make sure to use a heavier leader than normal, I think I have some 20 or 30 lb flouro I've used for leaders in saltwater. I have a few streamers for bass fishing but nothing really gaudy or bright, I'll see if I can find a fly shop around where we'll be to pick some up.

  13. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Waynesboro virginia
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Targeting Pickerel

    We’ve got some in Moomaw and holiday lake. A friend caught one recently at one of those lakes, can’t remember which.

  14. #9

    Default Re: Targeting Pickerel

    They'll also take top waters. Poppers and sliders work well for them. White and yellow seem to work best for me. Normally, I use my 6 wgt with a 15 to 25 lb fluorocarbon leader. I caught this little guy a couple of days ago from a lake in the Poconos. It's about 14 inches long. You can see the yellow slider I caught it on in the corner of it's mouth.

    P5230261 (2).jpg


    My buddy who was fishing the same lake from a boat, caught a 24 inch one on a 4 inch Chug Bug(top water lure.
    "All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

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  16. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Southern Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Targeting Pickerel

    Quote Originally Posted by nah85 View Post
    We’ve got some in Moomaw and holiday lake. A friend caught one recently at one of those lakes, can’t remember which.
    I know of one a friend caught out of Moomaw but I’ve never thought it’d make a very good shore fishing lake. It is a really intriguing lake though, I would like to try around where the Jackson comes in during the fall to try for some of the big browns but there’s really no fast way to get there. Pickerel seem to be more common further north,so I figured I might have a better shot of landing one while up there.

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