8 Essential Chain Pickerel Fishing Lures

chain pickerel fishing lures


8 essential chain pickerel fishing lures

This article will list the 8 essential chain pickerel fishing lures. Chain pickerel are aggressive predators. They lie in ambush, waiting for prey to come close enough to attack. The coloration of pickerel blend in perfectly with aquatic vegetation, which is their primary habitat. While chain pickerel can be caught on live bait, the vast majority of them are caught by anglers casting artificial lures.

check out my post on the best freshwater fishing tackle and lures

Chain pickerel look very similar to northern pike, on just a smaller scale. Their habits are quite similar. Both species are primarily found in shallow water around some type of cover, normally weeds and other aquatic vegetation. One difference is that chain pickerel range much further south, being found as far south as Florida. The best chain pickerel fishing lures are basically scaled down versions of northern pike lures.

chain pickerel fishing lures

The 8 essential chain pickerel fishing lures are;

  • Daredevle spoon
  • Mepps Aglia spinner
  • Heddon Zara Spook
  • Johnson Silver Minnow spoon
  • Rapala Husky Jerk
  • Bass Assassin swimbait
  • Booyah Pond Magic spinnerbait
  • Rapala Jigging Rap

There are certainly many other chain pickerel fishing lures that anglers can use successfully. However, this list of baits are proven to produce chain pickerel in every situation that an angler will encounter.

chain pickerel fishing lures

8 essential chain pickerel fishing lures

The list of 8 essential chain pickerel fishing lures all fall into several basic lure categories. These are in-line spinners, spinnerbaits, spoons, and plugs. As mentioned earlier, the most productive pickerel lures are really just smaller versions of the lures that anglers use successfully on northern pike. Here is the list, in no particular order.

Daredevle spoon


The Eppinger Daredevle spoon is a classic freshwater fishing lure. It has been used successfully for decades by anglers chasing northern pike and musky as well as bass and other species. The 1/4 ounce size is perfect for average chain pickerel. Anglers fishing in waters that have larger fish can go up to the 1/2 ounce size. Red and white and five of diamonds are the classic color patterns, however silver and gold are productive as well. This lure can also be used by anglers ice fishing for chain pickerel. It can be used in areas of moderate, but not extremely thick, vegetation. The spoon is cast out and retrieved back in using a series of erratic twitches and pauses.

Mepp’s Aglia spinner


Spinners are excellent freshwater fishing lures that will catch a wide variety of species, and chain pickerel are no exception. The Mepp’s Aglia spinner is second on the list of eight essential chain pickerel fishing lures. The #3 size ways one quarter ounce and is a good all-around size for chain pickerel fishing. This spinner has a treble hook and can be purchased plain or dressed. In most situations, the dressed hook in the natural brown color works best. A steady retrieve works best with in-line spinners in areas where the vegetation is not too heavy.

Heddon Tiny Torpedo

tiny torpedo

The Heddon Tiny Torpedo is another classic freshwater fishing lore with a great reputation. It is a top water plug, which means it spends the entire time on the surface. The Tiny Torpedo has a propeller which create a lot of commotion on the surface when twitched sharply and is the perfect size for chain pickerel. This simulates a wounded bait fish or other prey and will draw pickerel up to the surface to strike. This is an exciting method used to catch fish! It works very well when fished over thick vegetation or other structure.

Johnson Silver Minnow spoon

fishing with spoons

The Johnson Silver Minnow spoon is a weedless spoon. It has a single hook which rides up as the spoon is retrieved back in. It also has a wire weed guard which will deflect obstructions. This lure is virtually snag free, which allows anglers to work it through heavier vegetation than other lures with open hooks. The most popular version is the one quarter ounce gold spoon, however silver can be more productive on bright shiny days. Anglers can even add a soft plastic trailer to add more bulk and action.

Rapala Husky Jerk

husky jerk

The Rapala Husky Jerk is a hard bodied plug in the family known as “jerkbaits”. They are long and slender and earn the name in the manner in which they are fished. The lure is cast out and then the rod tip is jerked sharply followed by a pause. This will cause the lure to flash erratically, simulating a wounded bait fish. It is an extremely effective bait on chain pickerel, northern pike, and bass. The size (08) works well for pickerel and bright colors such as yellow perch or fire tiger are very productive.

Bass Assassin swimbait

bass assassin

Swim baits are very effective chain pickerel fishing lures. A swim bait is a soft plastic lure with a paddle tail. It can be rigged on a jig head or weedless on a swim bait hook. The paddle tail realistically imitates a swimming bait fish. This is a more subtle lure that works well when pickerel are a bit more finicky, such as just after the passing of a cold front. In most cases, a slow, steady retrieve will be the most productive. The one downside to swim baits is that the sharp teeth of a pickerel will tear the bait up quickly.

Booyah Pond Magic spinnerbait

Booyah P:ond Magic

Spinnerbaits are odd looking lures that really resembled nothing found in nature. However, they put out a lot a flash and vibration from the blade along with action from the skirt. They really are a combination of a spinner and a jig in one unit. The Booyah Pond Magic spinnerbait definitely belongs on the list of 8 essential chain pickerel fishing lures. The size is perfect and the colors were specifically designed for pond fishing, which is where many pickerel are often caught.

Rapala Jigging Rap

rapala jigging rap

Last on the list of 8 essential chain pickerel fishing lures is the Rapala Jigging Rap. While it can be used in open water fishing applications, it is generally considered one of the top ice fishing lures of all time. It’s chain pickerel are often caught by anglers ice fishing, this lore had to be included on the list. The W5 size is 2 inches long and works well for chain pickerel and other species. Yellow perch and firetiger are very productive color patterns. The lure is jerked up sharply than the design of the bait causes it to fall erratically through the water column.

chain pickerel fishing lures

In conclusion, this article on the eight essential chain pickerel fishing lures will help anglers decide which lure is best for the situation that they are fishing in, resulting in more success when chain pickerel fishing!

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