should do pretty good for the pickerel with those. I have a Salmo Chubby darter that I had few years never used it last year but looking forward to trying it this year. I had pretty good luck last year with some buck tail jigs I tied up and swedish pimples.
I never used a leader last year through the ice for pickerel and never had one bite me off. I don't know if it was just a coincidence or what but all the fish I caught last year were just tagged in the tip or corner of the mouth, they never really sucked the bait in deep enough to cut my line.
I experienced the same thing over the years while fishing with jigs, or hooks and split shots tipped with minnows for walleye. I would catch pike and the same thing, never had one bite me off during the winter. Open water is a different story, had lots bite me off.
I don't know, like I say if it was just a coincidence or what, but I was able to present my baits better like you said, and still managed to land fish.
so you think silver will be good by the 1st I sure got my fingers crossI have a number of new toys to try this year including the Lindy Darters and some of the new Northland lures. Also picked up a underwater camera so we can watch the action. Back pack is all packed and now all we have left is to get some ice and decide on pickeral or trout on the first. If it gets cold enough we may slip out to a couple of the open all year lakes for some pickeral before the first... with the weather thats coming my bet is I can find some safe ice by the middle of next week.