Jun 29, 2009

The Plan is for Pickerel

Thursday I leave for our annual family reunion and camping trip. This is the sort of camping I was raised with and traditional campsites have always seemed a little silly. Our spot is next to a spring fed pond on a family farm in southern Missouri. No electricity hookups, no showers and most importantly no neighbors. To give you an idea, it'll take me about 20 minutes to get from pavement to the spot, giving me petty
ample opportunities to justify the 4x4.

Most years I don't plan on much other than a few days with the family and ice cold water to jump in on a hot day. This year I've got plans, and it makes me nervous. I don't like expectations - without them you can't be disappointed - but I've been reading up on pickerel. I've caught pickerel in the pond on many occasions, but I recently discovered what a trophy grass pickerel looks like and I think I've seen one in person, maybe even caught one.

Above is the Oklahoma state record specimen. I know what you're thinking because I thought it too. "13 inches makes for a record?" I've always assumed the fish I caught were little, but if these fish are truly grass pickerel (as opposed to chain) the ones I've caught have been impressive. I've also seen a photo of my great uncle holding two that had to be at least a foot long.

Missouri's state record grass pickerel weighed 1lb 3oz but the chain pickerel record is a less likely 5lb 1oz. I doubt a new state record is in my future but I think I can hit 10 inches at least. I better study up on the differences before Thursday. Knowing my luck I'll catch a 15 incher, get all excited and come home to find out it's a chain pickerel.

I won't know until I try....

Update: Click here to see how I did.


  1. Clif, just enjoy the moment mate, and the rest will fall into place.

  2. Maybe I over exaggerated my excitement and nervousness. Truthfully, there is a strong chance I won't even unpack my rod.


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