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Chain Pickerel (Esox niger)

Chain Pickerel (Esox niger) is a freshwater fish from the Pike family. This fish is found in many places on the eastern coast of North America including Florida, Texas and Rhode Island. It goes by a few different names depending on where you are, these include Southern Pike, Jack Fish and Federation Pickerel.

Like its close relatives the Northern Pike and the Muskie, this fish has a large mouth with sharp teeth and is considered to be a ferocious predator. They can be differentiated from their close relatives by the chain link pattern that is all over the sides of their body. They are long and slender and much smaller than the a fore mentioned, only growing to about 36" in length and weighing aboutt 10lbs maximum. You can check out fishing for the Chain Pickerel in the video below...

If you are fishing for Chain Pickerel you should take into consideration the fact that they are ambush predators, using a lure that gives the appearance of an injured fish or just good old live bait will work well to catch these tough fighters. You can often find these fish in and around weeds or other thick vegetation.While the Chain Pickerel's meat is edible, they are not one of my favorites, because their meat contains many hidden bones that can upset an otherwise good meal. You can take the time to remove these bones or simply run the meat through a grinder and make them into fish burgers. Either way will work pretty well.
When the Chain Pickerel spawns it leaves strings of sticky eggs that are attached to aquatic plants. They are fertilized by the male, but after this the parents are long gone and trust me, these youngsters could use some supervision. Once hatched these fish will feed on almost anything including plankton, insects and even their own brothers and sisters! Talk about sibling rivalry!

If you have any additional information about the Chain Pickerel, including fishing tips and recipes please share.

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