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That darn Virgil infected my with a pickerel bug:D I can't seem to get enough of this winter-time fishing. In spite of disliking cold weather, I headed out again this afternoon.

I arrived at my usual shoreline spot about 1:15 today. It was cold (30 deg) and a brisk wind was blowing right at me. The water level was extremely low -- 1-2 feet lower than yesterday. It was nearly impossible to cast far enough from my limited shoreline access to reach the grass beds where the fish were lurking. My ultralight with 4-lb test got me close, but my heavier rod with 10-lb test would not cast a 1/8-oz jig far enough. After 90 minutes and just one pickerel, I tried switching to a heavier jighead that would cast farther on the heavier rod. That worked for while, but the reel ended up with several snarls and broken line. I finally had to put it in back in the car. After about 2 hours, the wind died down and I was able to consistently cast far enough with the lighter rod to get in the zone. I ended up with about 6 pickerel and 3 fat yellow perch. I hooked one very large pickerel in the same vicinity where I got "Moby Dick" yesterday. It zigged and zagged numerous times. In spite of my best efforts to keep it under control with the light rod, it spit the hook before I could get a good look at it.

I fished until after 4:00. The bite was stlll hot, but I kept getting bitten off with the 4-lb test. When I got home, I respooled the reel on the heavier rod with 15-lb PowerPro (4-lb diameter) . Maybe that will give me the right combination of casting distance and strenght on my next outing. :cool:
 

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Excellent job, John! You really do have the bug, don't you?!? :p

I was thinking of heading out this afternoon, myself, but I realized that I'd probably better "get a life" and stop focusing on pickerel fishing so much! :) I must admit, it really is fun being outdoors in these beautiful environs so much these days... much better than being indoors!

I was having the same trouble you are w/ the bigger fish biting off... I started out w/ 4# test w/ a 10# floro leader. I kept loosing fish (and lures) and didn't want to keep "releasing" fish w/ rigs in their mouths so I switched to 6# line w/ 20# floro leader and have had absolutely no trouble at all... not one bite-off and the fish don't seem to mind the heavier leader one bit.

I gotta say that I am totally impressed by your passion and perseverence... wade fishing this time of year is no picnic, and you have done a great job of a) finding a good spot, and b) working it for all it's worth... Hoy-Hoy to that! :)

Thanks for the report, John... Moby is still waiting for you... ;)
 

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Nice work John! You're going to land that big guy yet. :)

Both rods that I was using on Saturday were spooled with my 'standard' spinner setup - 20# Western Filament Tuff-Pro XP braid with a 20# Flurocarbon leader, and I never got a bite-off all day.

I use that same combo of braid and leader for everything that swims in the Bay or the tribs, and it's never failed me. Probably overkill for pickerel and perch, but it's one less thing to have to worry about. :D
 

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Probably overkill for pickerel and perch, but it's one less thing to have to worry about. :D
Not overkill for a 24" pickeral! Or a 25"er!

I got out for an hour yesterday to almost no water. I could barely get my boat out of the slip! The headwaters of Back Creek are nicely iced w/ a good solid 1/8" layer of ice. Much to sharp and hard for me to ice-break thru it with the boat, so I headed to some alternate spots and ended up w/ a whole bunch of nothin! I canonly hope that this freeze holds up for a few more weeks!
 

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Wow John, you do have it bad :D . Like a virus, it may just spread from angler to angler. :)

I read something you posted in another post and will attempt to touch on it here. For those not sure of, or maybe for the lack of a better word, feel they lack experience at pickerel fishing, once ya get a brief introduction (if you feel that it's necessary) it's really not that big of a deal or a specialized art, this pickerel fishing thing we enjoy. The fish are certainly game if we are, and they're more than willing to please any of us willing to venture out on a cold winters day in search of whatever it is that drives us to the point of plowing/wading friged waters during the coldest extreams of winter to catch a fish. In a nutshell, what I'm saying is that most everyone that hasn't targeted em before, as well as a few that have, are starting to adapt their own methods by changing lures/bait/tackle/location and are sort of developing individual personal skills, resulting in everyone being a little different, but all sort of on the same note too :), if that makes any sense,,,and I'm lovin reading all the pickerel posts and I have a feeling you all are about to wake a sleeping giant over there ;) .
 
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