Redfin pickerel are very small fish, among the smallest in the pickerel family with only the other American Pickerel, the grass pickerel, comparing in their diminutive size. While muskies, tiger muskies, and northern pike are on the heavy side of the Esox family, the redfin pickerel is on the far other side.
One of two sub-species of the American Pickerel, redfin pickerels are small but they fight with the heart of their much larger cousins. They also taste delicious.
However, like the panfish, it’s all about
Redfin Pickerels are found in a wide range of habitats and actually have a further range than the northern pike.
State Redfin Pickerel Records: Complete Guide
Redfin pickerel aren’t the type of fish you go after if you are looking for a big fight. But on an ultralight rod with a low pound test line can still provide a really good time.
They are also delicious. Often mentioned as the best of the pickerel, offering a white fillet with a slightly sweet taste. Delivering well above and beyond
Alabama Redfin Pickerel State Record
Alabama actually has two state records for redfin pickerel, so it’s a “tie,” despite the fact there is an ounce difference between the two fish. Look I don’t make the rules for state fishing records in Alabama, I just report them.
The official record book for the state of Alabama has two entries for the record-sized redfin pickerel. Because of this the Alabama redfin pickerel state record is 14 oz held by Henry Merritt from 2017 and 13 oz by Frank Lambert Dickey from 2014.
This shows just how small the redfin pickerel are and that a new state record in the next few years is absolutely not out of the question.
Arkansas Redfin Pickerel State Record
Although native to the state of Arkansas, there is no officially recognized state record for redfin pickerel. A little research showed there was no reason this should be the case other than the obvious: these fish are so small no one would expect a 10 or 11 once fish to be a state record.
However with the way the Master Angler program is worded if someone caught a redfin pickerel, took a digital photo with a witness, and went through the steps to apply, they would be the state record holder.
So unless there’s an unpublished rule or qualification (and Arkansas anglers please contact me if there is), there’s no reason any angler couldn’t fill this with any legal catch.
So there is no Arkansas state record for redfin pickerel, but since the fish is native to the state the opening is there for an angler to claim the record.
Source: Arkansas Game & Fish Commission
Connecticut Redfin Pickerel State Record
While redfin pickerel are found throughout the state of Connecticut, there is no state record kept for this fish. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that in Connecticut often times redfin pickerel intermingle with chain pickerel, meaning many of the largest fish are actually hybrids.
In addition to this, the decent size of chain pickerel in the state mean that anglers simply don’t focus on the redfin as a potential state record.
Whatever the reasons, although widely found throughout the state (see the below 2009 map showing various areas in CT where pickerel flourish) there is no officially recognized state record for redfin pickerel and there doesn’t seem to be any intention of creating such an entry to track.
The longest reported redfin pickerel to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection came in at 15.3 inches while the rangers of the department record the largest found during official surveys as 11.4 inches, which are pretty healthy sizes for the miniature redfin pike.
So the unofficial Connecticut state record for redfin pickerel is 15.3 inches in length, with weight unknown, but probably right at or barely over 1 lb.
Delaware Redfin Pickerel State Record
Although redfin pickerel are native to Delaware and abundant (there is no limit on size or number caught on a daily basis), there is no Delaware state record for redfin pickerel. This is a fish that are labeled as not eligible for a recorded state record, most likely due to its small size, and that position isn’t likely to change soon.
This is confirmed by the Delaware Government list of state fishing records which has the larger cousin the chain pickerel, but doesn’t have any entry for the largest redfin pickerel.
There is no readily available information on even the unofficial largest redfin pickerel caught in the state.
Florida Redfin Pickerel State Record
Florida is a state loaded with the type of waterways where the redfin pickerel can thrive, and it shows based on the number that get pulled by anglers with their light spinning rods looking for some fun fishing and looking to fill a bucket for a fish fry later.
The Florida state record for redfin pickerel is 1.06 lbs in weight and was caught by Mike Milkerson in June of 1993 at New River in Bedford County.
Georgia Redfin Pickerel State Record
The Georgia state record for biggest redfin pickerel is also the standing world record, and it seems like an absolute titan by comparison to what passes as a good-sized redfin pickerel in most situations.
The Georgia redfin pickerel state record, which is the current world record, is a stunningly large 2 lbs 10 oz caught in Lewis’ Pond by Gene Brantley in 1982.
That is an absolute giant by redfin standards and must have been a surprising fight from a calm day at the local fishing hole.
Maine Redfin Pickerel State Record
While redfin pickerel can be found in very small patches in Maine, they are actually quite rare this far north. In fact, there are so few in the state of Maine that they are considered endangered in the state and therefore do not have a fishing season nor a state fishing record.
Maryland Redfin Pickerel State Record
Though found in large numbers in both the far eastern and far western parts of the state, the redfin pickerel is even stocked in some location for local sports anglers. However, the small redfin is a fish that the state does not recognize for the record books meaning despite the large populations, there is no state record for redfin pickerel.
Massachusetts Redfin Pickerel State Record
Massachusetts is a state loaded with redfin pickerel, however due to the fish’s small size, as given by the lack of any redfin ever caught in the state to make a one pound mark, there are no records kept or recognized for the largest redfin pickerel in the state.
Mississippi Redfin Pickerel State Record
Although there are healthy pockets of redfin pike found throughout the eastern part of the state in particular, there is no official state record for redfin pickerel in the state of Mississippi.
After reaching out to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks I was informed that there is no block on having a state record for redfin pickerel. Simply no angler in Mississippi has caught a redfin pickerel and taken the steps to report it as a state record.
So if you’re a redfin angler in Mississippi, you can apply for the state record with your next catch and get in the books!
New Hampshire Redfin Pickerel State Record
Redfin pickerel are only found in a small section of New Hampshire, down in the southeastern corner of the state. They are not a popular game fish in the state, which may explain why no one has applied for the state record.
Although found in a small area the fish is not considered endangered, meaning there is no reason a state record wouldn’t be accepted if one was properly applied for.
New Jersey Redfin Pickerel State Record
In New Jersey local anglers have a nickname for the redfin pickerel that is unique to the area: the bulldog pickerel. Due to the stubborn nature of the hit and fight despite their diminutive size. New Jersey is also home to one of the largest state records for redfin pickerel.
In 1983 a state record 1 lb 13 oz redfin pickerel was caught in Lake Assunpink by angler Gerald Humphrey.
New York Redfin Pickerel State Record
The state of New York is home to one of the larger redfin pickerel that have ever been caught on recorded record.
Coming in at nearly double the size of a fully grown “large” redfin, the New York redfin pickerel record is 2 lbs 1 oz and was caught by Duane Gillespie at Lake Champlain in 1989.
North Carolina Redfin Pickerel State Record
No one should be surprised that many of the biggest records for the redfin pickerel come from Southern states full of the waterways where these fish tend to thrive. North Carolina has a very respectable record for the mud pike, as many in the area like to call this tasty feisty fish.
The redfin pickerel state record for North Carolina is 2 lbs 4 oz and is caught in the awesomely named Gallberry Swamp by Edward C. Davis in June of 1997.
There is an excellent write up on redfin pickerel fishing in North Carolina that can be found here.
Pennsylvania Redfin Pickerel State Record
Often intermixing with the grass pickerel populations easy of the Alleghany, while there are healthy populations of redfin pickerel that can be found in the state of Pennsylvania, there is no officially recognized state record for redfin pickerel.
Rhode Island Redfin Pickerel State Record
Redfin pickerel have always been incredibly abundant in the state of Rhode Island. That said, they haven’t always enjoyed the best reputation, especially after bass were introduced well over a century ago. While redfin pickerel fishing is still widely practiced, there is no officially recognized state record for the redfin pickerel in the state of Rhode Island.
South Carolina Redfin Pickerel State Record
South Carolina is one of the states where redfin pickerel fishing is at its most popular. They also have a very respectable mud pike that represents their state record.
The largest redfin pickerel on South Carolina record weighs 1 lb, 8.8 oz and was caught by Albert Johnson in 1983.
Vermont Redfin Pickerel State Record
Vermont is a state that is known for its high quality chain pickerel fishing, as well as pike fishing. They even track records of hybrids between the two being caught in the state. But what about the small and often overlooked cousin the redfin pickerel?
However redfin pickerel are actually very sparse in the state and are only found in very small limited areas, generally on the eastern border of the state. There is no recognized state record for redfin pickerel in the state of Vermont, but they’re not against having one.
In fact, rules state the fish only needs to be ounces, so any adult redfin that was caught, properly weighed, and had the angler fill out the Vermont state fishing record application would be put into the books.
Interesting Side Note: Vermont is the only state I’ve found that officially recognizes the pike-pickerel hybrid as a state record eligible fish.
Virginia Redfin Pickerel State Record
Redfin pickerel can be found along the eastern and southern borders of the state, and little streams known as “black waters” are a major spot where locals go to fish for redfin pike or mud pike. Despite the popularity of this fish in certain parts of the state, there is no recognized state record for largest redfin pickerel among the Virginia freshwater fishing state records.
West Virginia Redfin Pickerel State Record
West Virginia is an odd state when it comes to redfin pickerel. There is a section of the state that has had reports of an isolated population in an area that sometimes appeared by itself, might have been mistaken for a common grass pickerel, or hybrids.
Whatever the situation, they are not common if they do exist in that very small section of the state and thus there is no state record for redfin pickerel recognized in West Virginia.
Redfin Pickerel State Record By Size
Okay, admittedly this is going to be laughably funny compared to the other lists, but you know what? Why not? In a game of ounces and half ounces, let’s look at the crowded finish line and admire just how much bigger those top 2-3 state records were compared to all the others:
- Georgia 2 lbs, 10 oz (42 oz)
- North Carolina 2 lbs, 4 oz (36 oz)
- New York 2 lbs, 1 oz (33 oz)
- New Jersey 1 lb, 13 oz (29 oz)
- South Carolina 1 lb, 8.8 oz (24.8 oz)
- Florida 1.06 lbs (17 oz)
- Alabama 14 oz
States with Redfin Pickerel but No Official State Record
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia*
States with No Redfin Pickerel (and thus no Redfin Pickerel State Record)
There are 30 states that have no native population of the redfin pickerel aka redfin pike and therefore do not have a state record for this feisty little fish.
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- West Virginia*
As you can see, the levels of love are mixed for this smallest member of the pike family. And in fairness I don’t know many anglers who would go for a bucket of 14 ouncers versus chasing a big stringer of northerns or a trophy muskie. That said, these tasty little fighters have provided plenty of fun for anglers…and in many states offer a clear path for anglers to get their names in the state record book with a single catch and an application 🙂
Other Pike & Pickerel Fishing Articles of Interest:
- Can You Eat Redfin Pickerel?
- What Are the Different Types of Pickerel?
- Northern Pike State Fishing Records: A Complete Guide (COMING SOON!)
- Muskie State Fishing Records: A Complete Guide (COMING SOON!)
- Chain Pickerel State Fishing Records: A Complete Guide (COMING SOON!)
- Grass Pickerel State Fishing Records: A Complete Guide (COMING SOON!)
*West Virginia’s situation with redfins is bit muddled, but it’s likely there will not be any recognized redfin pickerel in the state record books anytime soon.