Pickerelweed

As native pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) drops seed and begins to decay in fall, areas of open water will begin to open up around the thick stands left over from summer. Use a jig to pitch back into pockets formed between these stands.

Seasonal Techniques

Spring—Pickerelweed exist mostly as rhizomes throughout early spring, but new growth can lend to edge fishing around the shoreline. Use a soft plastic senko, lizard or fluke to pitch up around actively growing plants.

Summer—Pickerelweed will grow quickly in summer and begin to produce a beautiful purple flower, producing seed from early summer through fall. As the plants begin actively growing in summer, baitfish will begin to congregate nearby, feeding off of the invertebrates present among dispersed stands of pickerelweed. Bass will be nearby to pick off such schools of baitfish, so try fishing a swimbait or shallow running crankbait.

Fall—As fall progresses, seed pods will begin to droop, releasing floating seed into the nearby water. As pickerelweed drops seed and begins to decay, areas of open water will begin to open up around the thick stands left over from summer. Use a jig to pitch back into pockets formed between these stands.

Winter—Pickerelweed will exist mostly as a rhizome in winter, so targeting this particular species should be avoided until spring.

Habitat Value

Fish—Shoreline habitat for invertebrates can be created by pickerelweed, thus attracting baitfish and other species that bass readily feed on.

Waterfowl—The seeds of pickerelweed are readily consumed by waterfowl and other shoreline birds.

Identifying Features

What It Looks Like—Pickerelweed is easily identified by its long, oval leaves and prominent purple flower, which blooms throughout summer.

Where to Find It—Pickerelweed can be found most often dispersed in clumps in the back of coves and wetland areas around a reservoir.

Similar Species—Pickerelweed may resemble many shoreline species, however it’s distinctive purple flower sets it apart from other species.

Drawbacks

Pickerelweed rarely causes water use issues and is very seldom managed in a reservoir setting. Cost to manage: $ out of $$$$$.