Need to know how to freshwater fish in cold weather and actually be successful? Read on…
Fishing is a favorite activity of the summer-lover. The mornings are mild enough to head out before dawn in relative comfort. The water is warm, and the fish often bob close enough to the surface to be easily detectable.
Whole days can be spent lounging back in a boat, casting a line and enjoying nature.
Eventually, though, those warm summer days will turn chilly. What is an avid fisher to do?
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it might be time to start considering preparing for cold-weather fishing. Here are a few tips for those men and women who just don’t want to quit, but maybe haven’t fished in the cold weather before.
Bring out the big baits
In the winter months, fish are going to be just as lazy as humans can be. Just as we start shopping in bulk in order to avoid repeat trips to the store, odds are good your fish isn’t going to want to expend much effort for food unless it’s worth it.
Focus on large, slow-moving lures that attract the particular fish you’re going for. Bass, muskie and crappie are the more popular choices for winter fishing, and catfish is always a favorite!
Change up your technique
You may be used to keeping your lure moving and recasting frequently. Remember that the fish are going to be slower, so you may need to leave your bait in the water longer. Be patient, and they’ll come to you.
Keep your bait warm
In colder weather, your bait is going to get cold. Just keep in mind that a fish is going to want to eat something it thinks is alive, not some icy bit of metal or rubber. Try warming it in your hand or your pocket before you cast it out.
Go to them
While this tactic often has the unfortunate side effect of your hook catching on underwater debris, there’s a good chance there are bass and crappie hanging around small shelters and covers. If you’re hunting for catfish, check for deep holes or current-breaking trees.
Winter will mostly see your fish holed up in the safety of these places, while they’re slow, sluggish, and less likely to wander far in search of food. In the cold weather, go to them. They’re going to be less likely to come to you.
One of the most important things anyone can remember to do is bundle up! It’s typically colder out on the water than it is anywhere else during the winter, and the longer you’re out, the colder you’ll get.
Fishing, after all, is a sedentary sport, without much cardiovascular movement to get your blood pumping. Wear enough heavy layers to preserve your body heat, and consider waterproof shoes and outerwear. In addition, be sure to bring a thermos of hot coffee, cocoa, or tea to sustain you for as long as it takes to catch the one you’re after.
Enjoy the empty lake!
Winter fishing allows you the unique opportunity to have the water more or less to yourself. While many people stay at home, you’ve taken the initiative to go out and fish, regardless of the weather.
So enjoy the lack of wake and other motors out on the water. In this time of the year, it really is just you and the water.