Pickerel vs. Walleye Fishing

Is pickerel fishing different from walleye fishing? What is different?

Yes and no. As with anything else in life there are differences and similarities between fishing walleye and pickerel. Let’s start by discussing the differences between the two fish. Pickerel reside in virtually any water body located on the east coast and in the south. Walleye can be found virtually across the country with the exceptions being in the south by Florida and the west by California. Pickerel prefer to spend their days in shoreline weed beds while walleye can hide out just about anywhere. The walleye day may start out in the weeds but as the sun moves into the sky, they quickly start moving towards deeper water for shade and protection. During early spring the pickerel stay in the weed beds. This is spawning season for walleye and they head towards feeder streams and shallow waters. As fall season comes around, the pickerel prefer to hide out under wood structures such as fallen trees and logs. Another popular location for pickerel is any area of overhanging brush or lily pads. When in these locations, the pickerel go no deeper than 7 to 10 feet at the most. Walleye prefer deeper water depths to the shallower levels. The only real time walleye reside towards the top of the water is early in the morning to feed or during spawning season. The only similarity between pickerel and walleye are their love of vibrant, flashy lure selections. Both fish jump at the chance to snatch up a colorful lure that mimics crawdads or minnow action. Popular colors for the two are neon green, yellow, white and orange. Other colors that also work are silver, gold or dark green. Chances are, if you go chasing after one of the fish, the other one will not be far behind. With any luck, you can capture two birds with one stone. Good luck!


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow walleye fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on walleye fishing since 2004.

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