If you fish often, you know that some expeditions are for research and you accept the fact that you may not catch fish but what you learn will become useful at some point.
Well, guess what? Armed with the right intel, gear, weather conditions, it can become “catching” as well as “fishing”! A HUGE Pickerel is 24″ and most of the fish we caught were more like 12-18″ but they are a hoot (especially if you have a Fish Jones in February) on a 6 weight. Scroll to the bottom of the page for photos.
My partner in yak crimes, Pat Brim, and I went to MD’s “Eastern Shore” (which means the other side of the Chesapeake in search of Pickerel. We were told that there was a lake with “lots” of Pickerel (there’s also a ton of Black Bass, Crappie, and Bluegill as well) that’s under 2 hours drive time. We also knew that you were going to need a boat (our kayaks), some Bullet Head flies, and a 6 weight floating or intermediate, and some 20Lb shock tippet.
Well, we had most of the “right stuff” but I am not going to heartily endorse the Bullet Head fly at this point. I only changed flies 3 times all day (OK 5 if you include me being too lazy to tie on a shock tippet and lost a couple of flies). The winner is…
The Chartreuse Dulian Ice Wing Petitjean Magic Head Clouser (still working on a name) which I use much of the time for Stripers on Cape Cod and a go to streamer for Smallmouth when I am not fishing Boogle Bugs on top water.
Click on the thumbnail for larger image
I use a #4 for Stripers during Sand Eel season and although that was fine for catching Pickerel (and the occasional Black Bass or Slab Bluegill) I would recommend going to a #2 as the larger hook didn’t seem to get swallowed as easily, making catch and release a bit simpler. Find recipe and directions here: Magic Head Ice Wing
SIDE NOTE: A how does one finish up such a fine day? Jimmy’s Grille in Bridgeville DE from some excellent food!
Here are some photos of the lake and some fish porn featuring Pat and me. The Not Pickerel is a Black Bass which remind me of Crappie Meets a Smallie.