Some anglers shy away from catching pickerel on flies. This could be due to their razor-sharp teeth making them afraid of losing their flies. The explosive action of these fish attacking your fly is sure to get the heart pumping, which is why this is something you do not want to miss out on.
Here we will teach you how to prevent bite offs, the leader you should be using, the best flies for pickerel, and where to target them.
Preventing Bite Offs
Pickerel have razor-sharp teeth so you need to use a heavy piece of line or wire to the end of your tippet to protect your flies. This is called a bite tippet. About six inches to a foot will be the ideal length for these toothy fish. You will need your line or wire to be flexible so that you can tie into a knot onto your fly.
Use a nylon leader at about the 8-pound test range. Fluorocarbon will sink too fast and get stuck in the weeds, so nylon is the ideal leader for the job.
Pickerel eat pretty much anything that is put in front of them, so many different patterns can work. Streamers work best for fishing below the surface. A bright streamer about 3 to 4 inches in length is a great option. If you want to fish above the surface a frog pattern is a good bet.
Where to Catch Them
Pickerel are ambush predators that like to remain in cover and then dart out to attack their food. Aquatic vegetation like weed beds is their preferred spot. Find thick vegetation and get their attention with your fly.
- Use a bite tippet to prevent bite offs
- Use a nylon leader
- Streamers and frog patterns work great
- Fish them near aquatic vegetation such as weed beds