For anglers who don’t shy away from winter fishing, chain pickerel can be one of the best species of fish to target through the ice. Lakes and ponds filled with pickerel provide great action in the wintertime if you know what you’re doing. But to catch pickerel in winter, you need the right bait, and you need to fish the right spots.
Pickerel will be most often caught through the ice on live bait. Minnow and shiners are two of the most popular baits that are sure to get the fish biting. Try to use a bait around 2 to 4 inches for the best results. You can rig them on tip-ups or use your normal ice-fishing rod.
Where to Fish
In winter the pickerel will still be in their normal spots. They like to stay in weeds or around logs, stumps, and other areas with structure and protection. Pickerel are ambush predators, so they like to stay in protection and jump out to attack their prey. You can find them through the ice in these same places where they prefer to do their hunting.
Ice fishing for pickerel is really pretty simple. Use live bait and find them in the water in weedy areas or in places with a lot of structure. If you have those two aspects down, then any of the normal pickerel fishing tips work in winter as well.