Of the pickerel there are three species, namely, the Eastern pickerel, Western pickerel, and banded pickerel. These are the "pike" of some parts of the country. The Eastern pickerel is also called chain-pickerel and jack It is found in all of the eastern states, east of the Alleghenies. It resembles the pike in general appearance, but is smaller, seldom if ever growing to a greater length than two feet, and a weight exceeding eight pounds, and the average is probably three pounds. It is more slender than the pike, and the markings on the sides form a network, hence the name chain-pickerel. The ground color is brown or green, lighter in under and, as on all of the pickerels there is a dark spot below the eye. Like the pike it is voracious and feeds on fish, frogs, etc. The same methods of fishing and the same tackle may be employed as for pike.
The Western pickerel is a small fish never more than a foot long and usually less. It is found throughout the Middle West in quiet grassy waters. In all but size it resembles the Eastern pickerel. It may be caught with any light tackle, such as is used for black bass.
The banded pickerel is a small fish resembling the one described last, but is found in eastern waters. It is at home in all of the sea-going streams east of the Alleghenies, from the New England states southward.
The muskellunge, a fish known by perhaps a score of other names, all quite similar, is the largest and most important fish of the pike family. He is known to fishermen in general as the musky. The muskellunge is a voracious, vicious fish, feeding on all fish smaller than himself, even his own kind.
The appearance of this fish does not belie his reputed nature; he is as vicious looking as he is vicious. The head is about a fourth of the length of the body, the jaws long and the lower jaw longer and projecting beyond the upper. They are both armed with long, double-edged, dagger-like teeth and when you catch one be sure that you don't get your hand in his mouth; he wouldn't lose an opportunity to close down on it.
Brooks, Lake. The Science of Fishing. Columbus, OH: A.R. Harding, 1912. Print.
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