For freshwater anglers and fly fishermen in New York, the winter months yield a great opportunity for trout fishing. When the trout get finicky though, don’t call it quits just yet; Chain Pickerel will be more than happy to break the metaphorical (or actual) ice for anglers fishing with spinners, stickbaits and flies between December and March. With their insatiable appetite and aggressive nature, this smaller member of the pike family will keep you busy while you wait for the saltwater season to kick back up.
Chain pickerel inhabit a majority of lakes, ponds and streams on Long Island and will make their presence known to those who seek to put any bend in the rod before April. They’ll size up a lure and stalk it, following closely behind ready to snap in similar action to their relative, the Northern Pike. Long Island angler, Jerry Ruff of “Fish Your Way” on Youtube, puts a beating on some cold-water pickerel with a fly rod. Take a look at the video above, and learn more about cold water fishing for chain pickerel here.