Pickerel / Jackfish how to catch em..

Great little article on how to catch the elusive Jackfish (Pickerel)


I’ve never even thought about targeting these. Does anyone know any spots?

Anything that pulls drag, right?


They’re a lot of fun to catch! I use to throw spoons and spinners at them in a pond we fished, was way more fun than largemouth.

Wadmalaw native
16’ Bentz-Craft Flats Boat

Originally posted by yakgotstuck

I’ve never even thought about targeting these. Does anyone know any spots?

Anything that pulls drag, right?


Freshwater side of Bushy Park is a good place to start but you’re liable to catch them anywhere in freshwater round here.Search back in the freshwater section and look for the topic long fish with teeth.You might get some useful information there.

I caught a few of them when I was a kid back in MD, so that started my interest in catching them. I fished a tidal river as a kid near my home, but primarily with minnows under a float while fishing for perch. Eventually, I tried catching them on lures, inline spinners mainly, and even on fly tackle but they didn’t cooperate a lot. I managed to hook a few.

A fishing buddy and I used to target them in the winter months in MD if the weather stayed mild. We often fished tidal creeks for panfish, and there was plenty of Pickerel, which seemed to be a lot more active once it got colder. Those waters were shallow, so the fish were a lot easier to find since there wasn’t any real deep water. As that article mentioned, weeds and snags was all we had to look for.

We also hit up some state owned ponds, and for the most part, had them all to ourselves in the winter. We rarely saw another angler. Again, Pickerel were what we targeted, and the ponds were also generally shallow. We caught panfish and sometimes some bass if we hit a day where it warmed up good, but most days if we had any action is was with those Pickerel.

The best way to target Pickerel, is tie on a $20 or more expensive bass lure! :smiley:

I’ve lost more than a few bass lures to Picks, and seemed like the more expensive the lure, the better the guarantee a Pick would hit it, and cut it off with those sharp teeth! :angry:

Seriously, we used cheap lures, safety pin type spinners and small plastic baits most of the time, same as we used for panfish. If we lost them to snags or fish, wasn’t a major financial loss, and we expected to lose some. Spinning tackle with 6 or 8 lb test line was the usual set up, and we checked the line often for nicks if we were catching them.

I’ve caught many on spinnerbaits, and the old Johnson’s Silver Minnow spoon with a pork rind trailer was always a good one, especially in any weeds or downed tree’s. Yes, they like all kinds of lures, but the metal & cheap worked as well as any, and we didn’t have to deal with having

Best jackfish lure I’ve ever found is a solid red spinnerbait…red skirt, red blades. Can be tough to find, but it works.

Second best, anything silver and flashy. Spoon, jerk bait, silver bladed spinnerbait, the flashier the better.

Pitcher, that’s interesting about the red spinnerbait. I’ve really never used all red lures much for any fish. I have some red shad plastics, but not a go to color for me. I have a few RatLTraps and some crankbaits too that are mostly red, but again not something I consider using most of the time. Thanks for that tip!

As far as finding red spinnerbaits, that I can do! I make most that I use, so doing some all red won’t be a problem.

I guess I need to make a few! :smiley: