Pickerel Fishing Tips

Three tips for catching pickerel on purpose.

Pickerel, the little cousins to pike and muskellunge, strike hard and slice lines with their ferocious teeth. Many bass anglers tangle with them as bycatch. Here are three tips for drilling these toothy, fiesty gamesters on purpose.

Pickerel love dead wood. In-line spinners and brightly colored spoons will tempt pickerel on shallow flats around rotting stumps, decrepit docks, sunken logs and brush.

Work weed mats, lily pads and phragmite walls with chartreuse spinnerbait. Largemouths push deep into the weeds, but pickerel usually cruise the edges.

Probe four- to six-foot depths along cove mouths for monsters that are rarely seen. These loners can’t resist six- to seven-inch purple plastic worms.