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Chain Pickerel

Duane Raver, Jr.
Open Year-Round
Size Limit
No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person
No Limit
Delaware Range
Abundance in Delaware Waters
General Habitat and Food Preferences
Chain Pickerel prefer shallow and weedy waters where they hunt for small fishes and frogs.
General Description
The Chain Pickerel is long, slender fish with a large duckbill shaped mouth full of needle sharp teeth.

They have green sides with prominent chain-like markings and a dark tear drop marking under the eye.
Did You Know?
Chain Pickerel will often throw a wake like a torpedo when chasing a topwater lure and become airborne after the strike.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Chain Pickerel are caught on lures that imitate fish, frogs, crayfish, and worms. Popular lures include spinnerbaits, in-line spinners, plastic worms, jigs, and topwater lures.

Large minnows and golden shiners are favorite live baits.
Typical Sizes Caught
Chain Pickerel are commonly caught in the range of 14 to 20 inches in length by Delaware anglers.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Live Release Award
Adult: 24 inches minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 20 inches minimum

Sport Fishing Tournament Award
Adult: 4 pounds minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 3 pounds minimum
Delaware State Record
7 pounds 3 ounces
Earl Messick