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Chain Pickerel Details
Name: Chain Pickerel
Water Type: freshwater
Latin Name: esox n****
Common Names: Pickerel, Eastern Pickerel, Lake Pickerel, Chain Pickerel
Ideal Water Temp: 50-68F
World Record: 9lb-6oz Homerville, GA Feb. 17, 1961 Baxley McQuaig Jr.
Description: Chain pickerel live in vegetated lakes, swamps, and backwaters and quiet pools of creeks and small to medium rivers. Also found in deep, cold water with little or no vegetation. Adults migrate to deeper water during winter undertaking shoreward spawning migrations soon after spring ice disappears.

It can reach weights exceeding 4 lb. Feeds primarily on fish and crawfish like its relative Northern Pike. They are fast growing, short lived fish. They reach 15 inches in just 3 years. They live up to 8 years. Chain Pickerel commonly grow over 24 inches and 4 pounds. The State Record Chain Pickerel for CT is 8 pounds 9 ounces. Care should be taken when unhooking these fish when caught, as they have sharp teeth, similar to the other members of the pike family.

Pickerel occur throughout NH wherever suitable habitat exists. Pickerel feed on insects and crustaceans, but prefer larger food like Shiners, bullheads, perch and sunfish whenever available. Pickerel really like the color flurescent green for some reason. It will also eat its own kind and frogs, ducklings, snakes and young muskrats. Pickerel will attack almost any moving baits, they have been caught on top water lures, spinners, rubber worms and even moving peices of meat such as hot dogs! They may be taken with minnows or frogs, or by trolling or spincasting with plugs or spoons. Considerable numbers are easily taken when ice fishing either with handline or by using tip-ups with live baits. Food value of Pickerel is considered fair as it contains many tiny bones and secrete a protective mucus coating which can cause the fish to taste awful if the skin is not successfully removed before cooking. When they are not taken in cold, clear water they may taste somewhat weedy. They will put up a good fight. The largest recorded Pickerel from NH was from Plummer Lake in Sanborton, NH in 1966. The official weight was 8 pounds and a length of 26 inches.

-Massachusetts State Record is 9 lbs 5 oz caught by Mrs. James Martin in 1954 at Laurel Lake
Lee, MA
Tips, Techniques, Discussion: There are 39 comments for this species. Come and join the conversation.

Last comment was on 04/27/15 07:25 PM by baystateangler
Recipes: There are 3 recipes for this species. View these recipes.

Last recipe was on 05/30/12 09:23 AM by fisherman98
Below are photos of Chain Pickerel
or locations where users have caught Chain Pickerel.
Add your own photo of a Chain Pickerel
Clouser Pickerel Clouser Pickerel
Added by smarthawk from the trip entitled Whitehall Rez

   Pickerel Pickerel
Added by nefisherman92 from the trip entitled Changing it Up at Chauncy

Masked fisherman working the shoreline Masked fisherman working the shoreline
I caught the pickerel; raccoon would not share how he had done.
Added by frambrett from the trip entitled Dudley Pond Sunset Sojourn
Avg. Rating: 5
# of Ratings: 3
# of Comments: 4

   Decent sized pickerel Decent sized pickerel
Swampy cove on the southern end, very shallow water
Added by frambrett from the trip entitled A Good Afternoon at Ashland Reservoir

Moore's Pond Slime Dart Moore's Pond Slime Dart
my only frog catch of the day deserved some love. Mini slime dart versus nothing i'll take slimy d. Also this one behaved for me anyways.
Added by baystateangler from the trip entitled First Couple Fish on the Hollow Body
Avg. Rating: 5
# of Ratings: 1

   Ponki Pickerel Ponki Pickerel
Added by baystateangler from the trip entitled 4th of July Topwater Slaughter at Ponkapoag
Avg. Rating: 5
# of Ratings: 1
# of Comments: 1

View all 235 photos of Chain Pickerel

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Last Edited By:bmbassachusetts on 03/27/17 05:09 PM
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