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Chain pickerel have a deep green back blending to lighter green-and-gold sides that are covered by darker, graphic lines resembling the links of a chain, a pattern almost never shown by their larger pike and muskie cousins. They are found throughout most of the eastern half of the United States. The best fishing, with one exception, is found within the megalopolis stretching from Boston south to Washington, D.C. Just about every clattering commuter train along this corridor passes good pickerel water. In New Jersey, Massachusetts, and eastern Pennsylvania the pickerel fishing is great. Some of the brackish tidewater rivers in the Chesapeake Bay region are full of chainsides. The exception to this suburban rule is in Maine, especially in the Washington County region, where the outstanding pickerel fishing is overshadowed by smallmouth bass and landlocked salmon.