Best Time for Chain Pickerel Fishing (Season & Time of Day)

In May, we wrote a post on Best Time for Chain Pickerel Fishing (Season & Time of Day) . This time we will focus on the best time of day to catch a Chain Pickerel. For a day on the water to be productive, the weather has to offer a fair amount of visibility and be warm enough to avoid the fish getting too chilled. So, what time of day has the best chance of meeting these criteria? We’ll let you know!

The best time to go for chain pickerel fishing can vary depending on a number of factors like the weather and the location. So, before making your next fishing trip, be sure to check the exact time of day in your area.

Thicker than most northern pike, chain pickerel range in length from five to 10 pounds and may grow as large as 25 pounds when they reach adulthood. The thick, bony scales on both sides of the fish’s head help to protect the fish during its quest for food, while the bony plates on the body and tail help to make the fish hard to grasp as it swims in the water column.. Read more about how to catch chain pickerel fishing planet and let us know what you think. Many anglers catch fighting fish by targeting bass, but if you know when to catch this tooth-like fish, you can have a lot more fun. Pike fishing can be great all year round, but it’s important to know the best time of year and when to fish for pike. Chainworm fishing is best in the summer and winter, when the chainworms are sinking deeper, and late evening before sunset is usually the best time. Early morning, from sunrise to 2 hours after sunset, is also good. In this article you will learn what the best times of the year and the best days are to catch big chain pike, both on the ice and in open water. Too many anglers ignore or try to avoid these undervalued fish, but in my opinion that is a mistake. Walleye is one of my favorite fish and I want to share this passion with others. For a complete list of the best tips I’ve researched and field tested for fishing for chain worms, check out this list of 27 tips for fishing for chain worms I’ve written.

Best time of year to fish for walleye

Chain pickerel can be caught effectively all year round, but there are definitely certain times of the year that are better than others. I have found that pike fishing in early summer and winter are the best seasons. In summer and winter, pike migrate to deeper water in search of more pleasant, oxygenated water full of baitfish. Deep water contains water that is colder or warmer than shallow water, depending on the season. In the winter, for example, when the surface water may be frozen, the deeper waters are much warmer and more suitable for catfishing. In the summer, however, when temperatures can reach 80 or even 90 degrees, the water is much cooler at 15 feet. During these two seasons you have the best chance to catch a big walleye. Walleye reside in narrow, outward-facing cover to lure baitfish, crappie and other species into the trap. They will also be around the water lilies in the summer looking for frogs. Expect to see pike in 8 to 20 feet of water in the summer and 10 to 25 feet in the winter along grasses (underwater and above ground), sunken woods and deep rocks. Good tip: Catch the fish when the frogs are most active. During the warmer months, pike target frogs and are most active when they are present.

Seasonal guide for chain pickers

Let’s take a look at how and when you can catch a piker in any season.


Winter is my favorite time of year to fish for walleye because I am an avid ice fisherman. Walleye fishing on the ice is excellent. Whether you are using spin baits or jigs, these fish can be an excellent target to catch. January and February are more favourable than December because that’s when the pike burn most of their fat reserves and start looking for food to get them through the winter. In winter, the best time of day to fish for pike is in the early and late evening, from about 1pm until sunset. Personally, I have yet to find a good nighttime snack for winter biters. Mornings can be good too, but I recommend daytime. Use live or dead natural bait. Bluefin tuna, suckers, shad or sunfish (if legal) are your best bet. If you decide to use bait, try to move as little as possible. Slow and progressive movements. Few things underwater move quickly or sporadically in very cold water. It is better that a cucumber looks natural and moves less. For a complete guide to chain fishing in sub-zero temperatures, check out this helpful article I wrote that has helped many anglers catch more chain fish in the winter. Good tip: If you find submerged vegetation in water deeper than 10 feet, you can be sure that there are good pikeminnow fish. Even if the vegetation is rotten, it will hold baitfish and pike.


Spring fishing can be very good, especially late in the season. The brood will use up most of its energy in the spring, preventing it from feeding. Walleye are attracted to the berries of the northern lakes in early spring, as that is when the weeds begin to grow earliest. These northern bays warm up first and attract lots of baitfish and game. In late spring, weeds will grow and emerge quickly. Look for the thickest and nastiest grassy shrubs near open water. Big zander stalk their prey and frogs. In the spring I consider late evening the best time of day to fish for pike, from two hours before sunset until dusk. It can also be quite a morning, especially late in the season. Good tip: Baitfish such as pike, minnows, shad, alder and suckers are the best spring baits for pike and perch.


Walleye fishing is generally very good during the summer months. Walleye love weeds, and aquatic vegetation is abundant in most rivers and lakes during the summer. You’ll find the pike on the deepest edges of dense grass or lily pads where the biggest baitfish are. If you can find good herbs along the main points of the lake, these are the best places. The best time of day in the summer to fish for pike is early in the morning, from sunrise to 2 hours after sunrise, and late at night, from sunset to sunset. These are my best fish windows. The activity of the frogs will determine when the activity of the walleye is at its peak. If your lake has lots of frogs, walleyes feed on them during the summer. Concentrate on lures that imitate frogs, trolls, bass and shad. This is the food the walleye eats in summer. Concentrate on the frogs and the trolls. Bait and live bait work equally well. You can cover most waters with this bait. Good tip: Chain trout are abundant in parts of the main lake where there is weed or sunken wood.


Autumn is an interesting time for migratory fishing. Most anglers are more concerned with hunting deer or catching walleyes in the fall, but walleyes are actively eating to put on weight for the winter. If you find fish with a rising bait, you will inevitably find perch, catfish, pike and pike fishing. Forget the frogs after August. From September to the end of October, look for baitfish only. Crayfish can also be very good in early fall. In the fall, the best time of day to fish for pike is early morning, from sunrise to 2 hours after sunrise. You can catch a piker in deep water when the bait bank sinks into the water column late in the day. In my opinion, November is the hardest month of the year for walleye fishing. Perch are much harder to find and catch now. They often go deep and sail around bumps or deep rocks. Good tip: Unless you have a boat with good electronics to find pike in deep water, you’re going to be hunting in November, not fishing for pike. It’s just been a rough month. word-image-5569

How weather affects walleye fishing

Weather can have a big impact on walleye fishing. Technically, it can have a significant effect on all fish species. Fluctuating weather patterns cause significant changes in fish behavior. If you’re in the middle of a hot, dry spell, fishing will be good. However, when a storm is approaching, breaking the monotony of the weather, it forces the piker to feed aggressively, especially before the storm. The low pressure associated with the hours before a storm is the best time to fish for pike. Colder temperatures and less sunlight are forcing pike to leave the dense vegetation and look for baitfish. Chain pickerel have good low light visibility, giving them a tactical advantage over most baitfish. During the rain, pike fishing can be good, but if it keeps raining, it gradually deteriorates. When it rains, fish with noisy lures like spinning rods or jerkbaits that will attract pike amid the noise of the rain. Fishing will be slower after rain or when a cold front passes. The bass are on the bottom and only eat when the bait touches their lips. Fish with bottom jigs, drop shots and even non-rigs. Live bait is always good for walleye, especially after a cold front. Synopsis: It is best to fish before a weather change or a few hours before an approaching storm. Fish them with moving baits like crankbaits or swimbaits that cover a lot of water.

Best time of day for walleye fishing

The best time to catch chainworm is late at night, from 2 hours before sunset until dusk or in the hours before the first thunderstorm during summer weeks. Walleye are most active in low light and when the frogs are most active. If the frogs are feeding intensely on insects as the sun goes down, you can bet a pike is watching them, waiting for one to sneak up on them.

Season Best time of day
Winter From early to mid afternoon until sunset.
Spring Late afternoon (especially in late spring)
Summer In the late afternoon, when the frogs are most active.
Autumn Early morning/late evening September and October

Night chain pike fishing

Many anglers can reliably catch a pike at night, especially in the summer. Chain pickerel can be very active in the dark, especially during the full moon. The full moon shows the silhouette of the frogs in the sky. When the bugs are out and the frogs are active, the walleye will certainly eat after sunset. The phase of the moon can have a big influence on the activity of pike. The night of the new moon is also a good time to fish for pike. But quarter moons are generally the worst nights for pike and bass fishing. Cloudy nights around the full moon can also affect fishing. To catch a zander at night, fish with surface baits like poppers, frogs and even senkos. The bass will be on the surface looking for baitfish and frogs. Live bait caught near vegetation can also be very strong at night. Good tip: When the frogs are very active after sunset, fishing for pike can be very hot, especially during full and new moons.

Cloudy and cloudy Pikeperch fishing

Cloudy and overcast days are ideal for chain pike fishing. On sunny days, the piker has to crawl against the ceiling to get some shade. But the diminished light of the cloudy sky makes the grasshoppers come out of hiding and hunt for moving prey. Cucumbers can see very well in low light and will look for baitfish and frogs. I recommend fishing pikers on cloudy days with moving baits. Rods, swimbaits, umbrella A-rigs, jerkbaits and spinners are all excellent options. A good frog on high water is also very good. The poles are a little harder to spot because they are not attached to the vegetation where shade prevails.Chain pickerel fishing is a sport known for its patience and understanding. The fish are known for their intelligence and cunning. They never take the bait, but lead you to their nest. They are a challenging fish to catch, requiring patience and persistence. Chain pickerel fishing is a sport known for its patience and understanding. The fish are known for their intelligence and cunning. They never take the bait, but lead you to their nest. They are a challenging fish for the angler to catch, requiring patience and persistence.. Read more about pickerel fishing techniques and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to fish for pickerel?

To catch pickerel, you’ll want to target water temperatures of at least 60F. Pickerel are active during the day and seek shelter at night. They tend to be shy so try to find them in deeper water. Anglers who are new to pickerel fishing often fish after sunset for their first few attempts, but you may want to try fishing at other times. In the spring and summer, there is no “best time” for pickerel fishing. The chain pickerel is one of the best coldwater fish known to man. In fact, it was so good that it was chosen to be the state fish of Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. It is a small fish that can be caught in lakes and ponds throughout the United States, and was described as the state fish of Wisconsin because of its abundance in the state.

What is the best bait for chain pickerel?

The chain pickerel is a small freshwater fish that can be found in the waters of North America, and the United States. It is closely related to the American pickerel, but can be easily distinguished by its deep-webbed dorsal fin and distinctive head markings. The chain pickerel is a popular species of fish for fishing enthusiasts, and is often found in the water during the summer months. The chain pickerel is a fish that lives in the southern part of Canada, the United States and Mexico. If you live in or visit any of those areas, you should be able to catch them with a good cast-and-haul rig. They are schooling fish, so where you live is just one of the many factors that affect when you can expect to catch them.

Can you catch pickerel in the winter?

This time of year seems to be fraught with questions about how to catch pickerel in the winter. There are so many opinions out there, it is hard to know what to believe. What I can say for certain is that you can catch pickerels all year long, although most people think of them as a spring and fall fishery. Springtime is a great time for catch and release fishing. In the fall, the hatching of summer fish species is in full swing, and the fish will be full of energy and will often move quickly, making them a no-capture fishery. After an interesting winter run, a group of fisherman headed to the pond to see what is was that caught their attention on the ice. For a couple days, they had been hearing flapping sounds, but when they finally got up to the pond, they were astonished to see something that wasn’t supposed to be there.

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