Author Topic: trying to get into pickerel fishing  (Read 3064 times)

Offline Wind Flag

  • Team IceShanty Regular
  • ***
  • Posts: 266
trying to get into pickerel fishing
« on: Feb 03, 2011, 08:44 PM »
I need advice on fishing for pickerel. I'm 100% starting from scratch on this. I've always been an (unsuccessful) laker fisherman, but I have an extra set of tip ups and a pickerel lake nearby. I've seen a few recipe ideas on this site recently and I've got a bit of free time. But I know basically nothing about these fish.

The inlet to this lake is thick with pickerel in late spring. Its a windy, weedy stream large enough to canoe in. I'm assuming this is the time and type of location they spawn? The mouth of the lake peaks at about 10 feet and is still weedy. Is this a good area to try? Or would it not work this time of the year because it may or may not be a spawning area?

Again, starting from scratch, how should I set my tip ups? Line weight? Length? Leader? Bait? Hook size?

What about jigging? What kind of jigs do I use? Do I tip them with anything? Or should I just head farther out on the lake and catch perch while I wait for flags?

Also, what depths should I try? I'm not sure if I should be down by the weed beds or or at the surface.

Once again, I'm completely new to fishing for pickerel and really want to get into it. Any helpful advice would be great.

Offline jtk

  • Team IceShanty Maniac
  • **
  • Posts: 1,203
Re: trying to get into pickerel fishing
« Reply #1 on: Feb 03, 2011, 09:53 PM »
fish the weed beds. use steel leaders or heavier flouro leader line. i use same size hooks for bass and picks cause usaully in the same area. i usually set baits near the bottom.
"give a man a fish and he will eat for the day. teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day"

Offline snowman3406

  • Team IceShanty Regular
  • ***
  • Posts: 385
Re: trying to get into pickerel fishing
« Reply #2 on: Feb 03, 2011, 10:01 PM »
Pickerel in the pond I fish that is overloaded with them tend to wander around.  Don't be discouraged if you set up and there is no activity for a few hours.  All of the sudden, you will be running so much, you'll be lucky if you can keep 2 or 3 of the lines rigged in the water.  I usually just use 8lb fireline as a leader, and rarely break one off due to teeth on line.  Don't be afraid to fish shallow.  I very often get them in 4-5 feet of water as they roam in search of food.  They stay very active in winter and are fun to catch.   I prefer to hook shiners through the lips and use a size 6 jig in chart/green or chart colors.  It seams to draw more strikes than a plain hooked minnow w a treble on it.  Every lake is a little different, but it shouldn't be too tough to get onto them.  Look for them where you would expect to find smaller panfish and larger baitfish.

Offline Velcro

  • Team IceShanty Addict
  • *
  • Posts: 713
  • Looking for ice
Re: trying to get into pickerel fishing
« Reply #3 on: Feb 04, 2011, 05:38 PM »
I catch more pickerel than anything through the ice, even when I'm not trying to catch them. I catch most of them close to shore, in water as shallow as 6'. They love hanging out in weeds so they can jump out and nab baitfish. So put your shiners above weeds, you don't have to put your bait too low beneath the ice- one joke I heard was that pickerel have teeth so they can pluck the bait from the spool. When I run out of shiners I've caught pickerel on worms and nightcrawlers but they tend to be smaller fish. 

Circle hooks are awesome. Medium to large shiners can catch them, though I've caught decent sized pickerel on tiny fatheads. I use pre-tied circle hooks snelled on fluro, so far I haven't had any pickerel biting off and the hook gets them in the corner of the mouth. I put one or two small split shot 12"+ above the hook, with stronger currents you might need more but there usually isn't much where I fish.

Most pickerel I've caught on tipups, but when they spit the hook I've caught them jigging with a perch colored hali tipped with waxies or mousies. There are probably better lures for pickerel than halis but that's what worked then. Another I jigged on a roadrunner, I think it was pink and white tipped with a worm. I always take a jigging rod with me when I chase flags, when I can. Even after nearly getting caught pickerel are so hungry they'll still go after jigs.

Pickerel taste great, the only reason I release more than I eat are those Y-bones I can never seem to completely remove. In my state 15" is a legal fish but they're hardly worth cleaning under 20". - About tea, ice fishing and being raised by cats.

If you let a cat help you put line on your tipup... It will take twice as long and wear out your line. But the cat will be entertained.

Offline NSYakfisher

  • IceShanty Rookie
  • **
  • Posts: 30
Re: trying to get into pickerel fishing
« Reply #4 on: Feb 15, 2011, 09:12 PM »
I strickly jig for pickeral in my home waters... was out today and set up our hut and mananaged one per hour.... Small Chubbies in Hot Perch, W3 Jigging Rap, 00 Shivers Minnows, and a Williams wobbler in gold were the fish producers of the day.  12 fish caught in sixish hours by two guys  both jigging in five feet of water and about 20 yards off a shallow weedbed.

Offline Bear32

  • Team IceShanty Addict
  • *
  • Posts: 604
Re: trying to get into pickerel fishing
« Reply #5 on: Feb 28, 2011, 11:51 AM »
  Ya, Velcro nailed it. This is pretty much my tactic as well. I fish shallow 1'-15' over weed beds or structure. I use Owner circle hooks with medium shiners. I use fluorocarbon & Tiger tooth as a leader.

Offline deadsmelthead

  • Team IceShanty Maniac
  • **
  • Posts: 2,648
  • Length 47 3/4 " Girth 24" NY Northern Pike
Re: trying to get into pickerel fishing
« Reply #6 on: Jan 08, 2013, 10:42 AM »
No need for steel or heavy line with pickerel, I'm underestimating by saying I've caught a thousand of them, 10-15lb flouro or mono is fine and I've never had a bite off, small or medium shiners work best, they like skinny water I'm talking 5 fow or less right on top of shore etc etc...check your tip ups regularly, they are notorious for mouthing a bait and just sitting there with it.. Cant count how many times i went and checked a tip up and there was a pickerel on that didn't trip the flag...

Last but not least bring a good amount of bait they will empty the bucket in no time at all...
TeamNumbnutts on youtube ... Subscribe !


Follow Iceshanty at Twitter Iceshanty Facebook Page Iceshanty Youtube Channel
Iceshanty | MyFishFinder | MyHuntingForum
Contact | Disclaimer | Privacypolicy | Sponsor
© 1996-
All Rights Reserved.