Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Esox Niger Part 2

The chain pickerel, Esox niger (syn.
Synonym (taxonomy)
In scientific nomenclature, synonyms are different scientific names used for a single taxon. Usage and terminology are different for zoology and botany.- Zoology :...

Esox reticulatus), is a species
In biology, a species is:* a taxonomic rank or* a unit at that rank ....

of freshwater
Freshwater is naturally occurring water on the surface such as bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams, and underground in aquifers and underground rivers. Freshwater is characterized by having low concentrations of dissolved salts...

A fish is any aquatic vertebrate animal that is typically ectothermic , covered with scales, and equipped with two sets of paired fins and several unpaired fins...

in the pike family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus...

(family Esocidae) of order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

Esociformes is a small order of ray-finned fish, with two families, the Umbridae and the Esocidae . The pikes of genus Esox give the order its name. There are ten species--five in each family....

. It is also known as the federation pike or federation pickerel. Its range is along the eastern coast of [North America]] from southern Canada
Canada is a country occupying most of northern North America, extending from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

to Florida
Florida is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States, bordering Alabama to the northwest and Georgia to the north. It was the 27th state admitted to the United States...

, and west to Texas
Texas is the second-largest U.S. state in both area and population, and the largest state in the contiguous United States.The name had wide usage among native Americans, meaning "friends" or "allies"...

. Pickerel is often a name given to walleye
Walleye is a freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and to the northern United States. It is a North American close relative of the European pikeperch...

, although the true name belongs to the chain pickerel. Common nicknames in the southeastern United States are the southern pike and jack fish.

The chain pickerel has a distinctive dark chain-like pattern on its greenish sides. Its body outline resembles that of the northern pike
Northern Pike
The northern pike , Esox lucius, is a species of carnivorous fish of the genus Esox...

. It reaches over 40 inches in length(only on rare occasions. It normally reaches just over 30 inches) and a weight of almost ten pounds. The average size for chain pickerel, however, is 24 inches and 3 pounds. (The average chain pickerel caught by fisherman is between 1 and 2 pounds). The world record is 9 pounds, 6 ounces!

The chain pickerel feeds primarily on way smaller fish which it ambushes from cover with a rapid lunge and secures with its sharp teeth. It is not unusual for pickerel to leap out of the water at flying insects, or even at dangling fishing lures.

"I know I have posted this article before but it's just a brief run down for all those who want to know. Now tonite's 2nd session was a pleasant one. No wind and warm temps. The best was right before dark 6-8ft of water. My plan was simple..locate weeds shady areas drop offs and submerged trees. Done deal. If you can do this when you target these guys then your half way there! Now I have found the locations...what to put on??? Well If you have an idea of what baitfish or small fry might be present you got a start. Picks like frogs and salamanders dragon fly larvae and the obvious baitfish. I new this pond had a population of small perch and pond minnows. Wanting to keep short strikes down and give them a real meal a fly of 3-4 inches long was in order. A 1/0-3/0 saltwater hook will suffice! Keep your retrieve fast or try giving quick strips and a jigging action with a fast strip..that usually works for me. An imitation perch pattern quickly drew first strike I believe with in 3 or 5 casts! My mom was kind enough to join me as photographer on my 2nd session and mom being mom well packed me some lunch...Thanks MOM!! I owe her alot as I really wanted to get this 2nd session put in the blog for all the readers to have. So I basically stuck to 3 patterns worked the weed beds drop offs and structure. Why only 3 well I had 3 set in mind to test and they were snapping fish for me so why change what works. I only had a 3hr session so playing Joe Switch Up with different patterns was not in the cards. Now Pickerel are not the big beasts of the esox family but what they lack in size they make up for in attitude! I love these guys even better when you have a dense population of these guys to target specifically. If you find that your population has a small size a 7wt would be a good choice. Or if it's windy 8-9wt is well worth the go. so arm yourself with some flies and have a look at the ones that worked for me. If you need any help or if you have any questions feel free to drop me a line ken.capsey@hotmail.com. Tight lines and sharp hooks!!!!!!


  1. Ken- All my pike filled rivers are at flood stage again. When are you gonna fly me out to your lake to fish. It looks like awesome water.