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ElGuapo

Too Many Pickerel

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My hometown 100 acre lake in Massachusetts has produced some great bass fishing over the last 30 years for me. The average bass for me usually averages over 2 pounds and one year I averaged 3.3 pounds per fish. Lots of pads, stumps, downed trees, docks, and different depths. Catching bass there has always been, frankly, quite easy.

The last few years though I'll either catch dinks or lunkers, and nothing in between. In one week for example I caught 50 bass under a pound and one 6 pounder. Its a private lake but I think a few ringers have been sneaking in and catchin' but not releasin'. I'm worried about the lack of 2-5 pound breeders.

Meanwhile, the pickerel population is absolutely exploding! Big ones too. I catch them way too often now, even on slow moving soft plastics.  They'll eat anything and everything and frequently have the tail of a bluegill, bass, perch, or crappie sticking out of its throat. Best I can tell, they are the great white shark of the freshwater lakes.

Since people are obviously keeping too many bass I'm thinking about pulling some of the pickerel out of the lake to help restore the top predator balance. I've never heard of anyone keeping a pickerel, ever. What good could it do to have 24" eating machines plucking off all the good baitfish?

Your thoughts please.

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There are alot of northern pike in my lake. Alot of anglers around here are cutting their throats when they catch them because the bass and walleye population are going way down.

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