The chain pickerel can be found in very similar locations as largemouth bass.
Like bass they prefer areas with vegetative and woody cover. This species is in
the same family as the muskellunge
and northern pike and look very similar,
though chain pickerel do not grow as large.
pickerel are an excellent species to target during the early spring, due to their
preference for cooler water. Chain pickerel are ambush predators that will follow
lures for short distances with great bursts of speed. This can produce some excellent
topwater action in the late spring and early summer. They will often resemble
a small torpedo going through the water, making a wake behind your bait.
pickerel are a very adaptable species living in a wide range of habitats throughout
the state. This gamefish is one of few that are able to tolerate the low pH (acidic)
waters associated with the Pine Barrens. Many old cranberry bogs in the Pinelands
have excellent chain pickerel fisheries. Other waters that have excellent fisheries
Lake, and Lake Lenape. The majority of the year pickerel can be located in
shallow bays with vegetation or stumps. During the winter they will move to deeper
areas of the lake in search of forage.
pickerel will bite year round and are very popular among anglers fishing through
the ice. Spring and fall are excellent times to target chain pickerel.
Chain pickerel will eat almost anything that moves at times. Live bait such as
killifish, minnows and shiners are great baits to use. Lures such as in line spinners,
spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, plastic worms and topwater lures are tops. In shallow
weedbeds chain pickerel can't pass-up soft plastic jerkbaits such as the Slug-go,
Fin-S, Flappin' Shad, and Zoom Fluke.
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