How to fish for the pike or pickerel

Pike is fond of shady places and in summer they frequent the parts of the stream nearly where the pickerel weed grows. They generally spawn in march or April and earlier in some southern streams. In winter they get under rocks, or stumps, or into convenient deep holes, and they can be taken then with small live fish for bait. In rivers you can generally catch pickerel near the mouth of some small stream emptying into the river; the fall of the year is the best time for catching them. In the hot summer months they will seldom bite at all, except, perhaps, in a very windy day. In the fall, too, they are in better condition. Pickerel fishing in the spring is sometimes very successful; however, though the fish are not so good when breeding. In the more northern waters they are sometimes taken as early as August in good condition. The tackle used for pickerel is a pretty stiff 10 foot rod, with a reel, and some 50 or 60 yards of flax line which should be protected by the hook with gimp or wire. The Limerick or Kirby salmon hook is used. The size is 0 to 5, according to the size of the fish. IN a running stream, the sinker and float will also be found necessary. The bait should be a small live fish, or frog, or the hind leg of a frog skinned. Worms are sometimes used in small streams, where the water is clear, and the game small. In using live bait, when the pickerel takes it, do not draw your line too quick. The bait, if properly impaled, will be very lively, and will be apt to make a violent effort to escape its enemy. Inexperienced anglers may take this movement for a veritable bite; but when the bite comes, there is no mistaking it. In impaling a small fish for bait, pass the hook under the back fin, just under the roots of its rays. This will not disable the fish, and it will appear lively in the water. When using live frog bait, you pass the hook through the skin of the back or belly, or the back muscle of the hind legs. The live frog is generally used on the top of the water - if not, you should let him rise occasionally to take the air. When the pickerel has seized your bait, give him plenty of time to swallow it, and also plenty of line. Sometimes he will hold it in his mouth and play with it before gorging. On bringing him to land, be careful of his jaws, for he has a set of teeth, sharp as needles.

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