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A Beginner’s Guide to Pickerel Fishing in Canada

If you’re looking to catch some delicious freshwater fish in Canada, pickerel is a great choice. Also known as walleye, pickerel is a popular game fish that can be found throughout Canada’s many lakes and rivers. Before you hit the water, however, it’s important to understand a few things about pickerel fishing. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get started.

Know Where and When to Fish

Pickerel can be found in a variety of freshwater habitats, including deep lakes, slow-moving rivers, and shallow backwaters. They tend to be most active during low-light periods, such as early morning or late evening, and during the cooler months from fall through early spring. Consider hiring a knowledgeable guide or doing some online research to find the best pickerel fishing spots in your area.

Gear Up Appropriately

When it comes to pickerel fishing, your gear can make all the difference. You’ll need a fishing rod and reel with a sensitive tip to detect bites, as well as a quality line that can handle the predator’s sharp teeth and strong fight. Spinnerbaits, jigs, and live bait like minnows or nightcrawlers can all be effective for pickerel, depending on the conditions. Make sure you have appropriate lures and bait, as well as polarized sunglasses to cut the glare on the water and aid in spotting fish.

Master the Right Techniques

Picking the right lure is one thing, but knowing how to work it effectively is another. Pickerel tend to be most active near the bottom, so try using a slow, steady retrieve with your bait just above the floor of the water. You can also try trolling with a spinnerbait or jig, or casting along weed lines or rocky structures where pickerel are more likely to be lurking. Be sure to pay attention to your line and set the hook quickly when you feel a bite.

Respect the Local Laws

Before you start your fishing adventure, make sure you understand the local regulations regarding pickerel. In some areas, there may be restrictions on the number of fish you can keep or the size of the fish that are legal to catch. Others may have specific rules about what kind of gear or bait is allowed. Ignorance is not an excuse in the eyes of the law, so make sure you do your research beforehand and follow all regulations.

Enjoy Your Catch Responsibly

Pickerel is a delicious and nutritious freshwater fish that can be prepared in a variety of ways, from pan-frying to grilling to smoking. However, it’s important to be mindful of your impact on the local ecosystem when harvesting fish. Avoid overfishing by only keeping what you need, and release any fish that are too small or not within legal limits. Treat your catch with respect and use it as an opportunity to connect with the natural world and the communities that rely on it.


Pickerel fishing in Canada can be a fun and rewarding experience for anglers of all skill levels. Whether you’re looking for a tasty meal or simply the thrill of the catch, there’s nothing quite like reeling in a feisty pickerel. By following these tips and techniques, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful pickerel angler – and doing so responsibly and sustainably. So grab your gear, hit the water, and good luck!