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Pickerel Fishing in Canada: Tips and Tricks for a Successful Catch

Fishing for pickerel in Canada can be an exhilarating experience, particularly if you’re in pursuit of trophy-sized fish. Pickerel, also known as walleye, are abundant in Canada’s freshwater lakes and are a favorite catch of seasoned anglers and novice fishers alike. With the right gear, techniques, and patience, anyone can score a successful pickerel catch. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make your next pickerel fishing trip a memorable one.

Understand the Behavior and Ecology of Pickerel:

Understanding the nature of the game is crucial before you set out to catch pickerel. Pickerel are known to be most active during low light hours such as at dawn and dusk. They tend to inhabit grass beds, drop-offs, rocky structures, and shallow flats. By learning about the natural habitat of pickerel, you can determine where and when to cast your fishing line. A fishfinder can be a useful tool to locate schools of pickerel and pinpoint their preferred areas.

Choose the Right Fishing Equipment:

 Although pickerel can be caught with a variety of baits, jigs, and lures, the right equipment can make all the difference. A medium to medium-heavy power spinning rod with a fast action is recommended for pickerel fishing. Paired with a high-quality spinning reel, you can cast accurately and retrieve your line without getting it tangled. Fluorocarbon or monofilament line with a test strength of 6-10 lbs is suitable for pickerel. As for baits, try using live minnows, leeches, or nightcrawlers or artificial lures such as jigs, spinners or crankbaits.

Practice Effective Casting and Retrieving Techniques:

For the best chance of catching pickerel, you must perfect your casting and retrieving skills. Start by casting your line near areas where pickerel are likely to reside. Avoid casting too far, which can spook the fish. When retrieving your line, vary your speed and experiment with pauses to mimic the movement of prey and attract bites. Pay attention to the length of the pause and the speed of retrieval that yields the best results. You may also want to try different retrieval styles- such as steady, jigging, or slow-and-steady – to see what works best.

Take Into Account Weather and Water Conditions: 

The weather and water conditions can play a significant role in pickerel fishing success. Pickerel tend to be more active during cooler months or in cold water, so it may be harder to catch them during the summer. Furthermore, weather events such as a sudden drop in temperature or a storm can significantly alter the behavior of the fish. A seasoned angler will learn to adapt to these conditions by changing their fishing techniques and equipment accordingly.

Follow Fishing Regulations and Best Practices:

 Before you head out to catch pickerel, make sure you have the necessary fishing permits and understand the fishing regulations in the area. This will help to protect pickerel stocks and ensure that there will be plenty of fish to catch for years to come. When fishing, it’s important to practice catch-and-release whenever possible. Pickerel is a delicious game fish, but overfishing can impact ecosystem balance and reduce the overall size and quality of future pickerel stocks.


Fishing for pickerel in Canada can be an exciting and rewarding experience for anyone who loves the sport of angling. By studying pickerel behavior and ecology, using the right equipment and techniques, and understanding weather and water conditions, you can increase your chances of catching a trophy-sized fish. However, it’s essential to follow fishing regulations, avoid overfishing, and practice catch-and-release whenever possible to protect the ecosystem and ensure that future anglers can enjoy the thrill of pickerel fishing. So, pack your gear and head out to Canada’s freshwater lakes in pursuit of the catch of a lifetime.