Wintertime is here. Some regions throughout the US have warm weather for fishing all year, but most anglers know what winter fishing brings: a fight against the snow, wind and freezing rain. The water is cold and fish are lethargic making them tough to catch. But just because the weather is cold, that doesn’t mean your fishing season is over, it just means it’s time to slow down and prepare.
Here are six winter fishing tips to help you score big no matter how cold it gets.
6 Winter Fishing Tips
- Slow Down for Winter Fishing
One of the key things to remember about winter fishing is to slow down your presentation to allow them more time to react to lures. As water temperatures drop, the fish’s metabolism slows down. Take your time.
- Know Where to Fish in the Winter
No matter what fish you’re targeting, you need to know where to go. Find your fishing mecca online through the Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife and Fisheries in your area and catch some up-to-date reports on what species are biting best.
- Watch the Forecast
While many of us are limited to fishing on the weekends and around work schedules, a quick look at the forecast can narrow down which days are going to be more productive. For example, weather fronts can affect activity levels of freshwater fish; in general, they are more active before a front and less active right after it. Plan your winter fishing trips just prior to the passing of a cold front when the fish are at their highest feeding levels.
- Choose the Right Time
During the winter months, some of the best catch times are between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Take the opportunity to sleep in on the weekend and enjoy a relaxing afternoon of fishing.
- Select the Best Lures
For winter fishing, choose a smaller lure size (two-to-four-inch range). Since fish don’t feed as often in the colder months, they tend to target smaller prey that is easier to catch and digest. Present something small and slow to mimic the natural feeding habits. You want a subtle bait that stops and suspends well. A great example of this is switching to a smaller suspending version of a bait you may already be familiar with, the Sebile Stick Shad.
For another example, a popper will get a lot of crazy action in the summer months but may not be very effective in the winter. The colder the water, the less action you want with your lure. Opt for a medium suspending jerkbait or blade bait to make your quest to catch fish in the winter a little easier.
- Stay Safe and Have Fun
Be mindful of weather conditions and dress in layers. Think base layers, middle layers, a shell jacket, insulated socks and boots, face mask, hat and a pair of gloves to keep your hands dry and warm.
Remember to tell someone where you’re going and when they can expect you to return. With some careful planning, you can have some of your most fun and successful fishing adventures in the winter.
Contact the Fishermen’s Source experts at 800-388-4149 to find out more about winter fishing today.