Thursday, January 10, 2013

CCA MD Announces 2013 Tidal Pickerel Championship

Last year I participated in the First Annual CCA Tidal Pickerel Championship and never really had the time to put a good effort into it. I caught two or three Pickerel, with the biggest being around 21.5" which honestly isn't bad. Unfortunately, it was a non-tidal Pickerel...on Nantucket Island off the coast of Massachusetts. The biggest tidal Pickerel I caught was about 18.5".

This year (the Second Annual CCA Tidal Pickerel Championship), I've done a lot better already in getting out three times and bringing in total over a dozen Pickerel to hand. The smallest sitting around 17" and the largest around 21". Now unfortunately, I just registered two days ago before Zach and I went out and fished Luce Creek off the Severn River in the Chesapeake Bay and we practiced the Art of Skunk.

So for those of you in the area or in Maryland looking to participate in a little winter tournament, read on...(click on the link on the bottom of the page to register).

The Coastal Conservation Association Maryland (CCA MD) is holding  its second CCA MD Pickerel Tidal Fishing Championship, which begins January 1st and runs through March 15th 2013. The catch and release event is being held in conjunction with four local tackle shops—Alltackle, Anglers, Shore Tackle and Custom Rods, Tochterman’s and Sea Hawk.
“Pickerel reside in many of the tidal streams feeding the Chesapeake Bay during the winter,” said Tony Friedrich, CCA MD executive director. “They also provide exciting light tackle and fly opportunities for recreational anglers.”
This is a careful catch and release tournament and all you need to do is email the picture to for judging.
Register at your favorite shop listed above. You will be issued a cca official ruler. Now all you need to do is go out and catch some pickerel.
- No Treble Hooks may be used.
- Hooks may be rolled over or snipped off allowing only 1 of the 3 hooks  to be exposed and in its original form.
- Fishing may take place in any tidal tributary of Chesapeake Bay
- Catch Photo Release Championship governed by the honor system
- Photos must be taken against official ruler provided
- Photos must be sent in by midnight March 15th
- Panel of judges will determine actual length based on photograph
-tie breaker determined by time
- Prizes for individual fishermen and tackle shop
- 1st, 2nd, 3rd for largest fish per tackle shop, awarded by shop
- 1st, 2nd, 3rd, for largest overall fish, awarded by CCA MD
- Most inches overall by team , perpetual trophy awarded by CCA MD
- Every fish counts towards team total
- All pickerel caught and released count towards total inches award
- All rules and regulations set forth by MD DNR apply
Photo Submission
-Photos must be taken against an official CCA MD sticker ruler, or in a CCA MD cradle with sticker.
- Panel of judges have final say in determination of fish length.
- Photos must be sent in an email to

Ex:…. Subject: Doe, John, Smith’s Bait Shop, 12/20, 6

A confirmation email will be your record of registration.

Best Practices for Careful Catch and Release

Tidal Pickerel are a special fish living on the edge of their range here in MD.   Salinity levels and water quality seem to control their population cycles.   It is important that while catching and releasing Pickerel fishermen use care, and adhere to some best practices.

Pickerel have the best chance of surviving when they are not handled extensively, or kept out of the water for an extended period of time.   Please use care when taking pictures and do your best to only keep the fish out of the water for a limited time.

Catch and release mortality can be high when fish are deep hooked.   Actively retrieving artificials, or artificials tipped with bait should limit the amount of deep hooking which occurs.

Pickerel are aggressive feeders and fighters and treble hooks can cause a great deal of damage if not modified.  Please roll 2 of the hooks inward, or clip off 2 of the hooks before using treble hooks for Pickerel, or any other fish you intend to release.
You can register by clicking here to head on over to the CCA site an signing up at the bottom. May the best Pickerel fisherman win...


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