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Why The Pickerel Deserves More Respect. aka: Pick the Pickerel.

There are three closely related species of fish in the Pike family that are like Rodney Dangerfield in the fact that they too, get no respect. These are the chain pickerel, the American pickerel, and the red fin pickerel. For the sake of this treatise I will refer to all as pickerel.

    1. He is available to all levels of angler.

    No special equipment or experience needed.

    2. They are not picky eaters.

    While they often are easier to catch on flashy metal spinners or spoons; almost all presentations will work.

    3. This makes them easier to catch.

    4. They are almost everywhere in the eastern half of the US.

    If you a find a body of water with fish in it, pretty good chance some will be pickerel.

    5. They are some of the best fighters.

    While none are big in size, they are fast and tenacious. They don't land easy.

    6. They are fine eating.

    Most anglers don't because they ARE a little more difficult to prepare. But their meet is as succulent as any freshwater whitefish around.

    7. Most anglers don’t pursue them.

    And are upset and/or disappointed when they catch this "trash" fish instead of their intended target.

    8. No one will mind if you keep them.

    In a few areas they are considered invasive and there are no limits. In most areas, the limits are generous and anglers would be happy to be rid of them.

    9. You don’t need a boat.

    Yes, pickerel, like all Pike, will move deep in the warmer months. However, since they still orient with structure near the shore to feed and often inhabit smaller waters, the bank fisherman is not at a disadvantage.

    10. You can be a Fish Hipster.

    No you don't need a beard, beanie, and skinny jeans. Just break from the pack and embrace your inner Rodney.

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