Freshwater Chain Pickerel Fish

The chain pickerel is a popular sport fish. It is an energetic fighter when hooked. Anglers have success with live minnows, spinnerbaits, spoons, plugs, and flies, normally tied with some type of plume or bucktail material. If the angler means to launch a fish, it is advisable use pliers to flatten the barbs on the lure’s hooks. Chain pickerel can swallow a whole lure, so it will be a lot easier to release a deeply connected fish and get it back into the water as soon as possible.

Practically any bass lure can be reliable for Chain pickerel, although like many pike, they seem to be especially susceptible to flashy lures which imitate little forage fish. Dragging a plastic worm, lizard, frog, or other soft replica can likewise be incredibly effective. A Texas rig technique is advised with these soft baits for productive fishing in the weeds.

A steel leader is needed for sharp-toothed and active fish at two to three pounds. The angler would likewise do well to use 12- to 17-lb-test line on an open-faced spinning frame. Techniques are similar to those for bass, such as dragging a lure through weeds in shallow water and jerking it side-to-side to give it the look of injured victim. Chain pickerel are ravenous and opportunistic feeders, and will attack most any fodder that moves into their range of vision.

Other names of Chain Pickerel Fish are chainsides, jackpike, pike, jackfish.

Chain pickerel are aggressive fighters when hooked, hence making them an interesting catch. They are active through the winter, under the ice, so they can be caught by ice anglers.

Freshwater Chain Pickerel

The chain pickerel has a distinct, dark, chain-like pattern on its greenish sides. Its body outline looks like that of the northern pike. It might reach up to 30 in long just on rare occasions. The opercles and cheeks of the fish are totally scaled. The average size for chain pickerel, nevertheless, is 24 in and 3 lb. (The typical chain pickerel captured by fishermen is under 2 pound). It lives around 8 yr.

  1. Differentiating Markings:freshwater-chain-pickerel-fishThe chain pickerel is distinguished from its relatives, the northern pike and muskellunge, by its prominent chain-like markings on a contrasting lighter green background. The fish is identified by a slender body that is rather compressed and inmost near the middle. Its head is large, naked, and depressed above, with fully scaled cheek and gill covers. Chain pickerel have an obvious dark bar underneath each eye and the pupil of the eye is yellow. The snout is long, broad, and rounded with a large mouth and a sharp set of teeth. The lower jaw extends additional forward than the upper jaw and is equipped with four sensory pores on the underside. The dark upper side is disrupted by light vertical bars. A large dorsal fin is located back to the forked caudal fin.
  2. Size:
    Chain pickerel are the smallest gamefish in the pike family. They can live for 10 years, reach a length of 3 feet and weigh 7 pounds or more.
  3. Distribution:
    The chain pickerel’s initial variety was Atlantic and Gulf Coast tributaries, however the fish has been presented elsewhere. Chain pickerel are dispersed along the Atlantic coast of North America from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia south to Florida. The species is discovered in the Mississippi River drain from the Gulf Coast as far north as Illinois and Indiana, and may be discovered in Gulf drains as far west as the Sabine and Red rivers in Texas.
  4. Habitat:
    Pickerel are brought in to weedy pools in streams, ponds, lakes and rivers. Their ambush design of feeding needs cover such as immersed aquatic greenery, tree limbs or manufactured structures such as pilings, rip-rap, or sunken ships. Pickerel tend to be singular fish, lurking concealed in the aquatic plants, awaiting prey to swim or wander by.
  5. Food:
    Pickerel are sight-oriented predators and are predominately active during the day. They are quite opportunistic feeders and strike with unbelievable speed when some negligent prey swim close by. The main diet of the pickerel includes small fish, crayfish, frogs, mice, newts and bugs.
  6. Spawning:
    Chain pickerel generate in the early spring when water temperatures approach 50 degree F. Eggs are adhesive ribbon-like masses connected to immersed plants or structure. The female lays up to 50,000 eggs but does not safeguard them. Pickerel may reach 14 inches by their 3rd year and end up being sexually mature by their 4th.
  7. Fishing Tips:
    Pickerel are outstanding sport fish demanded by diehard anglers year-round, even in the coldest part of the winter. They ready fighters on light spinning and fly tackle and will readily take a live minnow, banner fly, spoon, spinner or a range of other lures. A steel or heavy monofilament leader will assist keep their sharp teeth from cutting the line.

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