Many people store their fishing rods for the winter, but not you – for you, fishing is a year round passion. Being out on the water during the winter has its own rewards – freshwater fish tend to group up, and there are fewer anglers competing for fish. This leaves you with the opportunity for a truly special fishing experience. Here are a few tips on how to fish in the cold winter months.shutterstock_320051999

  • Fish are slower moving, and a little less active in winter. Make sure your lures and bait are larger and
    slower moving, so that the fish think it is worth the effort to go after it.
  • Leave your line in the water a little longer before recasting, and let the fish come to you.
    Warm bait in your hands or pocket before trying to entice a fish with it.
  • Better yet, use live bait if possible, as it will act in cold water as the fish would expect it to.
  • Winter weather may cause the fish to hide, so fish around shelters, covers and deep holes.
  • In general, the best window for catching fish in the winter is between 10am and 4pm. So feel free to catch good night’s sleep before you head out to catch fish.
  • Make sure your gear is clean and well oiled; sticky or stiff equipment will perform even worse in cold weather.
  • To find a great new fishing spot, utilize technology! Topographical maps, Google Earth, GPS and fish finders will all help you to locate likely hot spots. Check out local parks and recreation websites for information on what to fish for, and their locations.

The most important gear for winter boating and fishing has nothing to do with the fish. If its cold on land, it’s colder on the water; and since while fishing you aren’t moving around too much, your blood isn’t circulating well. Make sure you wear heavy layers that will conserve your body’s own heat, and wear waterproof shoes and over-garments. Also have a few thermoses filled with a hot beverage that will sustain you as you track your targets.

As always, make sure someone knows where you are and what your itinerary entails. A membership with Sign & Glide is the final step that will ensure that your winter fishing trip is safe and enjoyable. If you have any issues on the water, Sign and Glide has you covered. So grab your gear, bundle up and get out there! The water is waiting.