Over the course of the last three months, anglers willing to brave the winter elements competed in the 2018-19 CCA Maryland Pickerel Championship. While fishing the waters of Maryland and Delaware, the objective was to catch, photo, and release the largest stringer of three chain pickerel. Subcategory awards were also granted for longest pickerel caught aboard a kayak/SUP, while fly fishing, or by a youth angler, as well as longest black crappie and white or yellow perch. There was certainly no shortage of competition in this tournament with the leaderboard dotted with numerous citation fish! (Maryland and Delaware state trophy citation pickerel is 24-inches).

When the final results were tallied, Phil Kerchner took first place overall with a whopping three-fish total of 77.75-inches. Shawn Kimbro followed in close second with 77.5-inches and Lenny Rudow placed third with 76.75-inches and also caught the longest fish of the tournament, a 27.25-incher.

While the western shore tributaries seem to be void of pickerel the past few seasons, participating anglers found an abundance of toothy critters feeding in eastern shore millponds and rivers. A live minnow under a bobber was a sure fire way to the capture these gator mouths, but soft plastics and hard baits also were worthy offerings. These exciting fish will continue to bite all winter and in some places all year-long, so get out there and wrangle some of these pickled pond dragons. Before you head out, be sure to read these fishing tactics for catching chain pickerel.

youth fishing for chain pickerel
Kellan "Bubba" Roberts earned first place in the youth division by catching this 18-inch chain pickerel. Photo by Brian Roberts.


Final Results


1. Phil Kerchner - 26", 26", 25.75" = 77.75”

2. Shawn Kimbro - 26", 25.75", 25.75" = 77.5”

3. Lenny Rudow - 27.25", 25.25", 24.25" = 76.75”

Longest Pickerel Overall

27.25" - Lenny Rudow

Longest Fly Caught Pickerel

25.75" - Shawn Kimbro

Longest Kayak/SUP Caught Pickerel

25.5” - Zach Ditmars

Youth Pickerel

18” - Kellan “Bubba” Roberts 

Other Notable Youth Catch

 11” - Yellow Perch - Jaelynn Whitsell

Longest Perch (White or Yellow) Overall

 13.75” - Yellow Perch - Phil Kerchner

Longest Crappie Overall

14.25” - Black Crappie - Chuck Chambers

Longest Pickerel on a Single Calcutta Day

Dec 16th - 21.5” Phil Kerchner

Jan 13th -  16.25” Chuck Chambers

Feb 24th -  26” Shawn Kimbro

Notable Bass 

20.25”,  21”, 21” - Gary Simpson

19.75” - David Baden

18” - Zach Ditmars

chain pickerel fishing
"I'm so glad that big fish held, I think it was the biggest pickerel of my life. Of course, since all fish had to be released I was unable to weigh it, but I think it might of been 15-pounds. Heck, it might of been 20! No, 25-pounds!!! We will never know for sure..." ~ Lenny Rudow


For more results, visit: https://ianglertournament.com/2018-19-cca-maryland-pickerel-championship