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> Chasing pickerel
Fossil Fish
Posted: Jul 16, 2021 - 07:37 am


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Before reading, bear in mind that I am a species collector, so if you're looking for walleye pics, they aren't here. This is about pickerel, not walleye.
I took an extended long weekend from work in order to meet with a couple of other species hunters visiting from Quebec. They had a great 3 day trip, with one of them catching 13 or 14 new-to-him species, but yesterday was all about chasing Ontario's only native pickerel, the grass pickerel (Esox americanus vermiculatus). I planned out a route that took us to almost every access point of this particular creek, but it was the one point that I missed that ended up being the key. It's a decent hike from parking to the creek but my 2 Quebec partners made the most of it by each catching their first grassies but unfortunately I wasn't so lucky. As they had a long drive home ahead of them, they waited as long as they could with me but the time came when they had to leave so we all walked out together. I tried a few more of my spots but nothing panned out so I made the decision to do that long walk again to the one productive spot we'd found. It took a while but eventually, Ontario species #72 bit my spinner and I landed my first ever grass pickerel. These guys only get to a foot or so long and are very similar to young northern pike with the differences being a fully scaled gill cover vs. partially scaled on pike & muskie, fewer pores on the underside of the lower jaw and somewhat different colour patterning. These are also listed as a species of concern, which is one step above threatened, so while they are still legal to target, care should be taken when handling them.

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Goshawk
Posted: Jul 16, 2021 - 08:24 am


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Cool looking critter. Kinda reminds me of the chain pickerel that I caught several years ago with a guide in Lake Kissimmee.

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Longshank
Posted: Jul 18, 2021 - 07:22 pm


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Very nice......


I know when you said pickeral, you meant pickeral


been following your quest on species for some time....gl

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Collingwood Dean
Posted: Jul 19, 2021 - 05:18 am


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Very cool quest and passion!

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fishmagnet
Posted: Jul 19, 2021 - 06:18 am


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Thanks for the report and pics, that's the first grass pickerel I've seen on here in quite awhile..😁

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jam1324
Posted: Jul 19, 2021 - 10:24 am


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Awesome report Fossil Fish, eventually my son and I are going to travel around the province and try and catch em all too.

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mamona
Posted: Jul 20, 2021 - 09:28 am


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Haven't seen this fish for ages. Awesome report

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Jerkbaiter
Posted: Jul 20, 2021 - 09:40 am


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Nice fish, thanks for sharing your knowledge!
Never fished for it or caught it.
Very interesting.

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metalbuckle
Posted: Jul 21, 2021 - 07:55 pm


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Well done Fossil Fish..

Always enjoy your exploits, in search of these rare and exotic Ontario species..

Never caught a "true" pickerel or even seen one in Ontario..


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mykola
Posted: Jul 22, 2021 - 02:51 pm


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There’s a multi species tournament starts in august. Any fish species counts as long as legally measured with a photo… catch and release. Sounds like an easy 4000$ for you fossilFish…

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Fossil Fish
Posted: Jul 23, 2021 - 01:29 pm


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QUOTE (mykola @ Jul 22, 2021 - 02:51 pm)
There’s a multi species tournament starts in august. Any fish species counts as long as legally measured with a photo… catch and release. Sounds like an easy 4000$ for you fossilFish…

Interesting......I think I'll sit it out this year, but follow along to see what kind of totals people get. Between entry fee, time off work and gas, I'd need to finish in the top 3 just to break even. Off the top of my head, I could likely get 30 species without much effort - just a lot of driving - and that doesn't include minnow species.

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