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Jan 23rd, 2013
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29Jan2012 Daingerfield Chain Pickerel #7114757 01/31/12 08:33 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 129
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Salsa Offline OP
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Posts: 129
TexasFlyCaster guided me on a trip to Lake Daingerfield where he introduced me to a new favorite target species:
Chain Pickerel
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/species/cpk/
These fish were a blast to hunt and see them take a fly. I stood on the ultra stable Diablo 12 and cast red/white seaducers into the clear water along the shoreline. You could clearly see the white flash of their mouths opening at the same second their javelin bodies rocketed out of their ambush spots. Great fun.
The first attack missed and I stayed cool enough to just barely twitch the ducer, trying to imitate a wounded or stunned minnow. The chain whipped around, not 3 feet from the miss, lined up and struck again. Right on target, I felt and saw the take and strip set just to be sure. It was asshort and spirited fight, taken to the reel at my guides encouragement and very exciting as I anticipated landing a new to me and awesome looking new species.
[img]http://www.texaskayakfisherman.com/forum/download/file.php?id=99572&mode=view[/img]
This guy was 16inches, 2 larger than current lake record, but not as heavy so he didnt make it on the books. I had heard that pickerel meat is white, flakey and delicious so he did make it on the stringer. Have to try at least once.
In the same area I had another lightning strike and in the excitement my strip set was too much and I busted my knot (I doubt his famed sharp teeth did the cutting). I reeled in my naked tippet as I watched the pickerel back into some grass, thrashing his head this way and that as he tried to dislodge the seaducer from his mouth. That was entertaining. I cast to him, trying to rehook and get him and my seaducer back, but eventually he took off towards deeper water. If you catch that pickerel I want my fly back, please.
We tried different spots, but they didnt have quite the same mix of tall grass and vegetation so kept on the move. Later I noticed my stringered chain had picked up a buddy. Or perhaps, this near to the spawn, a girlfriend. This other, smaller chain was just swimming along with mine. I jigged my ducer near as I could get, but no dice. Eventually she saw me and bolted for the deep. Guess Im not her type.
Two other times during the day I had chains follow my ducer. I tried a variety of stop n goes, speed ups and downs, direction change, etc. but they didnt take. I was prepped to do figure 8s but they never got that close. Seems the key is to present broadside so they can crash in perpendicular to the fly.
If you look at some of the pics youll see they have those same sight groves from their eyes to snout as musky and pike that allow them to zero in on prey. I think that makes them prefer that side attack vs. attack from behind that may be difficult for them to judge distance/attack range.
Casting and retrieving parallel to the shore, as directed by my guide, was key and produced the first few encounters, but as the sun rose higher on a blue bird day and we ran out of grassy shoreline we had to change tactics. Think bassin; remember these guys are camouflaged and designed for short ambush strikes. That produced another follow with no bite and then later my second pickerel of the day.
Dragging that seaducer across a vegetated flats/lillypad field border area produced a nice 2.25 lbs bass that is the new pending water body record and really woke me up. Instantly knew this was no pickerel and the bass put on a beauty of a display for us. Even got a tail walking out of him. CPRed and I hear there are bigger bucket mouths in there, too.
[img]http://www.texaskayakfisherman.com/forum/download/file.php?id=99571&mode=view[/img]
I researched fillet techniques and knew I was in for an adventure. Filleting them off the bone and skin is very easy, following the Y bone, especially on these smaller specimens, was not. I managed some long thin fish stick looking fillets off the big one, and just cut the two fillets off the smaller one, intending to lightly fry them and deal with the bones. They tasted and looked very similar to crappie which I enjoyed, though the bones and quantity of meat in proportion with the size and population of that small lake made me decide to relegate these guys to catch and release in my book.
See http://texasflycaster.com/fly-fishing-for-chain-pickerel-at-daingerfield-state-park/ for a full story.
Day Begin: Temp 46.4f Press30.48in Wind3.5mPh SE
Day End: Temp 60.8f Press30.36in Wind9.2mPh S
Clear skies
Water visibility clear to 5 feet.
Red/White Seaducer from shoreline to 10 feet out.
2 pickerel, 2 follows, 1 lost, +1 LMBass
Get Bent,



Salsa

Re: 29Jan2012 Daingerfield Chain Pickerel [Re: Salsa] #7114783 01/31/12 08:39 PM
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texasflycaster Offline
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Dang. Finally someone longer winded than myself!


Re: 29Jan2012 Daingerfield Chain Pickerel [Re: Salsa] #7115045 01/31/12 09:52 PM
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Steve Zissou Offline
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Dude.
That sounds like an awesome day on the water.
Chain Pickerel look really cool.
Nice hero shot with the Bass too - TFC got the Glamour Shot fer sure.
Congrats on all fronts. J.





If it were easy as fishin, You could be a musician
If you could make sounds loud or mellow
Re: 29Jan2012 Daingerfield Chain Pickerel [Re: Salsa] #7115822 02/01/12 01:02 AM
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keebranch Offline
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Great report. I enjoy fishing for Pickerel on light tackle.



http://ultralightflyfishing.com
Lightliner & creek fisherman
Re: 29Jan2012 Daingerfield Chain Pickerel [Re: Salsa] #7120488 02/02/12 03:00 AM
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scooter aggie Offline
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saweeeet! awesome shot of the pickerel. I need to do that.



Originally Posted by Txredraider
Let us hope that the bass do not find the equivalent of the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.
Re: 29Jan2012 Daingerfield Chain Pickerel [Re: Salsa] #7124333 02/03/12 01:01 AM
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Fish Comedian Offline
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cool, I have another month before I head out to Dangerfied. I have never taken my fly rod out but I think I will this trip. I will need to practice the fly rod from a canoe. cuaght lots of nice pickerel on bass lures, Most off Ribbet style frogs fish below surface. But I will definatly take my fly rods out. Need to look up flies you were using and tie me some.



May the Good Lord bless you with a bend in your rod.

L.A.
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