Chain Pickerel

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.

Chain Pickerel Illustration by Duane Raver, Jr.
Season Open Year-Round
Size Limit No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person No Limit
Delaware Range Statewide
Abundance in Delaware Waters Common
General Habitat and Food Preferences Chain Pickerel prefer shallow and weedy waters where they hunt for small fishes and frogs.
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 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 Length and Weight 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 13 ounces
William Mack