How to fish during the colder months of the year

Winter fishing: How to fish during the colder months of the year

With summer over and the beginning of autumn, every keen angler has at least some idea what they will do when winter comes. Many hobbyists tend to simply put down their gear for the time being and simply wait until warmer days.

However, winter angling not only offers a unique challenge, but it can still bring you success if using the approach and properly prepared. This is due to a couple of reasons. First, less people fish during the winter in general and second, the fish are still welcoming an additional source to feed.

To have the best possible time when fishing during colder times of year, one must take a couple of things into consideration.

Today, we’ll be giving some useful tips on how to prepare for winter fishing.

Clothing and body warmth

The first thing to consider before planning your winter fishing trip is, of course, your own preparation. Winter clothing can play a crucial role in keeping you warm regardless of whether you’re planning a fishing trip during the day or the night.

For body clothing, many professionals follow what’s called a layered clothing rule. This means each piece of clothing plays a clear purpose on your fishing trip.

  • Primary clothing - this piece of clothing involves materials that move moisture (like sweat) away from your body and keeps you dry.
  • Secondary clothing - the second layer of clothing involves materials that help keep you warm and trap the heat your body generates.
  • Third layer clothing - finally, the outer clothing layer is all about external protection. This may be either wind or waterproof materials.

This approach not only gives you maximum protection, but ensures that your body is warm even in the harshest conditions.

Additionally there’s things like headgear, boots and gloves to think about. A proper thermal or winter hat can work just fine and investing in a pair of quality boots can also make wonders for you.

For gloves, fingerless options are pretty good since they provide protection and at the same time, don’t interfere with the fishing process.

Now, let’s move on to choosing a place to fish.

How to choose where to fish

Since most fish go hiding during the colder months of the year, your best bet would be to try your luck in deep and shallow waters. Most fish during this time conserve their energy and move around less, since they know that there are less feeding options during the winter.

While this means that fish also eat less than they do during warmer seasons, you shouldn’t be discouraged from properly preparing yourself. 

Also, there’s the question of technique. Feeding too much and too soon may result in fish simply ignoring your bait or too little, may also result in an unsuccessful attempt.

As for your rig in general, many professionals recommend scaling everything down a bit, and prioritizing flexibility above everything else. This means using smaller hooks, lighter tackles and a more sensitive float if that’s the technique you’re going for.

Your goal should be to always place your bait in the same spot, to get the fish accustomed to the feeding spot.

Fish feeding tips during the winter

Many experienced anglers lean on the idea that fish tend to look for feeding options during the winter in a slightly different way than they do otherwise. 

While smell always plays a huge role in the effectiveness of bait, presentation is said to be king during winter, particularly because the water is a lot more clear.

That’s why live bait is especially effective since fish are a lot more tempted to go for them.

The exact amount of bait you will need is impossible to tell, however, a good bet would be to start with a dozen maggots or so in your selected area. From there, feed bit-by-bit until you get your bites.

Since fish need much less food during this period, overfeeding can be a crucial mistake that ruins your trip. So, make sure to do this carefully.

Grounbait is also said to be less effective during this period of time. If you have some leftovers from earlier trips, you may use it, but better with a low feeding content. Your goal here should be to use it more as an attractant, rather than the basis of your bait.

All in all

In this article, we’ve talked about the essentials of winter baiting. This angling approach can be challenging, but with the right technique and proper preparation, you are sure to have success.

Carp fishingCoarse fishing