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Holiday Valley Ski Resort

My Thanksgiving Trip

Dateline 12/14/98

I have had many fantastic fishing trips to Clark's Hill during Thanksgiving holidays. This year was no exception. The unusually warm weather had bass on spring pattern - Linda and I caught about 14 good keepers off gravel points in shallow water. They hit worms, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. The 3-3 in the picture below hit on a gravel point right at the boat club and was the biggest of the trip.

picture by Linda Garrison

As you can see in the picture, the weather was unseasonably warm with water temperature in the mid sixties, about ten degrees higher than normal. I actually fished in shorts a couple of afternoons!

I got a surprise when a fish hit a crankbait but did not put up much of a fight. When I got it to the boat, I saw it was a chain pickerel - a close relative of the Northern Pike. They do not get nearly as big as a pike, and the one in the picture below is probably about normal for the ones I catch in Georgia.

Picture by Linda Garrison

One thing that pickerel and pike have in common is teeth! As you can see below, they have the duckbill shaped mouth of a pike and similar colors. I caught this one early in the morning - it was still fairly cool. Most pickerel I catch at Clark's Hill hit during the cooler months - I guess they are too deep in the summer to hit where I am fishing.

Picture by Linda Garrison

Smaller ponds are better fishing holes if you want a pickerel. The world record was caught in Georgia in a mill pond in 1961 and weighed nine pounds, six ounces. I have never caught on nearly that big!

Send me any pickerel stories you have for a fishtale or post them to the boards. Click on the links below.

ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK - Fishing Companion - I won an award for this story about my dog Merlin.

Got any good pickerel - or pike - stories? Tell me about them. If so, you can also post information about it for others on my message board - you must register to post but can read the board as a guest. Also, if you have a story about pickerel or pike, let me know about it at fishing@aboutguide.com. for a "Fishtale". Tell others what you like.

Check out Coming Next Week - Next week's column topic, contest prize and new additions to the resources lists.

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