The one fish Granny and I haven’t rousted this week, and he’s one of my favorites, is the chain pickerel. I caught two tiny ones Saturday that were hardly worth mentioning. This morning, in the face of our wild and crazy night, at the crack of dawn Granny and I loaded the canoe and headed for a recommended pickerel hotspot, Mirror Lake.
I’ve wanted to fish this lake since I was a boy. I’ve past it a million times and never once made the effort to come. The pretty little lake is full of lily pads and weeds and undoubtedly home to numerous chain pickerel and largemouth bass.
Mirror Lake is also the home of numerous black flies and mosquitoes. Mosquitoes aren’t a big deal. You can cover up or hit yourself with some bug dope, but the black flies, they are a major nuisance. We were false casting more than necessary and waving our hats around like crazy to run them off.
It turns out, the first place we stopped we saw at least two pickerel. One followed Granny’s popper to the boat than hung out and stared at us. Then I had one break me off with his sharp teeth. Usually they are too small for this so I don’t use wire. That barbless popper floated to the surface and I retrieved it.
These would be the only two pickerel we saw. We hit numerous excellent pickerel looking places but went on to pick up a handful of 12” largemouth and smallmouth bass. The little guys were fun but not exactly what we came for.
The highlight was when a gnat hatch went off across the calm lake. Fish started sipping like crazy. I suspect that most these lakes have some brookies or stocked rainbows, but what we found out was that the rises were hefty New Hampshire bluegills. I put on a small red wing Chernobyl and had a blast with them!