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Khan of the Res

First Sizable Catch Of The Year. Ashland Reservoir, Ma.

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Caught an 18.5 inch Chain Pickerel yesterday. I had fished all d**n day without so much as a bite and I lost another crank bait in a tree. I found some coves that were shaded and shielded from the wind and decided to throw a 5 inch big bite rubber worm in PB&J color and dipped in chartreuse JJ's magic dippin dye. He hit the worm and I set it too early and didn't get him but I threw it in the exact same spot and he hit it again and I finally got um. He tasted great!

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Dumb western question:  How do you tell the difference between a pickerel, a northern pike and a muskie.  They all look the same to me. 

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Muskie are the largest, they have vertical bars along their body, and sometimes red fins (which looks awesome!). Pike and pickerel look very similar. The best way to tell the difference is by looking at the gill plate. On a pike, the whole gill plate will be scaled, and on a pickerel, only the top half is scaled. Also, pickerel have a dark vertical bar right under the eye.

 

Khan of the res, nice fish!

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Dumb western question:  How do you tell the difference between a pickerel, a northern pike and a muskie.  They all look the same to me. 

Chain Pickerel (Esox Niger) are the smaller cousins of Northern Pike (Esox Lucius). The easiest way to tell the difference to me at least is the pattern along the flanks of the fish. Pike have a spotted pattern while Chain Pickerel have a chain link pattern on their sides. There are another two species of Pickerel. There is the Red Fin Pickerel (Esox Americanus Americanus) and Grass Pickerel (Esox Americanus Vermiculatus). These two are typically found down south. The Red Fin has red fins, a light tone with brownish tiger stripes and gras pickerel has an light green tone with black tiger stripes.

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