Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Personal Pickerel Record - 25"!

A friend discovered a spot close to home where he's had some success catching pickerel the past few weeks, so I thought I would check it out. I'd been there once before, only landing a single pickerel so while my friend had good things to say, I was still a little dubious.    Where exactly is this spot?   Well, I'm not going to purposely give away a friend's secret spot, so you'll have to figure that out on your own, and if you do, please keep it to yourself.

Yesterday evening after work I packed up my gear and headed out, hoping to catch a few nice ones. One the paddle out, I realized I forgot my net.... DOH! Pickerel fishing pretty much requires a net as often time the fish are hooked in such a way the hook could easily tear out of their mouth or slip out. Lifting the fish by the line is a sure way of losing a decent percent of pickerel. However, as I was halfway to my destination, and after a full day of paddling yesterday at the Muskie tournament up near Frederiction, I was in no mood to turn around.

For pickerel, I've always foud the best luck to be using pink flukes, salamanders, and frog, as well as white frogs. Also, the pink and red/white spinner baits made by Abby at Doirons Sports Excellence are also fantastic pickerel lures. Armed with these favorites I was ready to catch a few fish!

On my second cast, a fish made a leap from the water for my lure, a pink fluke. Having felt no tug or resistance, I reeled in. Sure enough, the bugger had bitten clean through my 20 lb mono leader! I've had that happen before after several other fish had chipped away at the mono, but this was a fresh new leader! Either that fish got really lucky, or it was a big one with very sharp teeth! Was this a sign of what was to come?

It took a while to get another hit, but eventually I landed a small 14" pickerel. Then things went dry for a spell. I have to admit, I was starting to get frustrated. Eventually I landed an 18" pickerel, and then a nice 20" one. At least I wasn't shut out, but I wasn't finding the numbers, nor the size I had been hoping for.

Finally near the end of my trip I struck gold. I put on a very large pink lure that we jokingly call Godzilla. It's big and fat with something like 20 legs. What I do is cut off the first 4 or 5 legs on either side, and rig it weedless with a weighted Owner Hook Beast hook using a twist lock to secure it to the lure.    A fish attacked the lure almost as soon as it hit the water, then again and finally a third time before it finally got hooked.    I knew it was a decent fish, but I didn't expect the fat 25" monster that I hauled into the kayak!    This was the fish I was searching for!

I did get a couple more hits before heading back, and I suspect they were decent sized as well, but none that had the hook set.     I'll have to hit that water again before too long and continue to explore it.    I think for quantity, Kingston Creek may still be one of the best spots around, but it's nice to have new water in the area to explore now as well!