Fall Pickerel Fishing

Pickerel are known for feeding heavily when the water temperatures begin dropping in the fall. The time of year many other fish begin to slow down can produce some of the best pickerel fishing. Follow these tips to catch the most chain pickerel in autumn.

    1. Find the baitfish when the water begins to cool in the fall, pickerel will be in loose packs hunting near schools of baitfish. Look for drop-offs, deep holes, or slow points in rivers. These are the ideal spots for pickerel in autumn.
    2. Fish near cover pickerel are ambush predators that love to hang out near structures. If you can’t find them in holes, drop-offs, or slow spots, look for their usual spots near weed beds, grassy areas, brush, and submerged logs.
    3. Use Minnows minnows are the bait of choice this time of season. Fatheads and shiners 2-4” in length tend to work best. You can rig them to try and catch more than one fish or use a simple hook through the head to cast and retrieve.
    4. Size 1/0 – 2 Hooks you can use hooks ranging from size 1/0 to size 2. Since pickerel tend to be very toothy, a long shank hook is a good choice. This will help you deal with their razor-sharp teeth much easier.

Read the full guide on catching pickerel.


Pickerel fishing in autumn can be very productive if you fish the right areas and use the right equipment. When the water begins to turn colder, they will still be feeding pretty aggressively which makes for some great fishing.

Find the baitfish and there is sure to be hungry pickerel nearby. You can also fish their usual spots near weed beds or other cover. Minnows are the lure of choice. Size 1/0 – 2/0 long shank hooks are recommended.

Happy fishing!