Debbie Hanson 1/31/2017 When those winter fronts come blowing through, don’t fret. The colder days that follow can actually create good opportunities to put cold weather fishing tips for largemouth bass into practice. While the definition of cold weather fishing might be a bit different […]
Month: January 2017
One of the best parts about winter freshwater fishing is you never know exactly what type of fish you’ll catch. A flasher’s transducers helps to find concentrated schools and particular locations and lures help narrow down the field. There are a lot of freshwater fish species to catch, so it’s always a surprise when the fish comes up through the hole.
Warmwater fish: Some of the best fish to catch in the winter are warmwater fish. Cold water makes ’em taste great, so when targeting panfish and bass, know your forage. In shallows, panfish, perch and crappie may prefer bugs like wax worms, or mayfly larva and leeches whereas in open water they target baitfish. You’re likely to find bigger gamefish like pike and muskies on the bottom down deep as well as throughout the water column when they’re on the move. Drop jigs or live bait like minnows, smelt or salmon eggs to the bottom and work them up throughout the water column.
Panfish: Bluegill, sunfish, and perch
Bass: largemouth, smallmouth, hybrid striped bass, and calico bass
Larger Gamefish: Northern pike, muskellunge, walleye, and sauger, a walleye-look alike.
Coldwater fish: Those same trout that favor deep, cooler, oxygen-rich water in the summer move into shallower reaches in the winter. That fact makes winter freshwater fishing for trout very different. You’ll find trout and salmon on expansive flats, especially if it has a soft bottom where they can forage for leeches, insect nymphs, and worms. If soft-bottoms don’t exist in your lake you may find them around natural points and rock piles or ledges. Inflows and outflows are excellent places as inflows wash food into the lake while outflows concentrate them prior to exiting the lake.
Trout: brown, brookie, rainbow, Lake, Tiger
Winter freshwater fishing is a fun game of chance. And when it really comes down to it there is no single best fish to catch in the winter. They’re all fun, so grab your fishing license and go before it’s spring!
You Might Also Like
Debbie Hanson 1/24/2017 Have you been looking for ice fishing tips that will help you select the best natural baits? No worries, when it comes to figuring out which worms are going to do the most effective job of enticing your freshwater quarry, we’ve got […]
Lauren Seidl 1/23/2017 If you’re looking to take your fishing away from the shore, canoe fishing is a great place to start. Canoes make for good fishing vessels because they are relatively inexpensive, can travel through weedy waters and offer a stealthy mode of transportation. […]
Winter here has been a wild ride so far. One week the “high” is in the teens; the next, it is in the 50s. This results in a wide range of fishing conditions. Some lakes were reporting 6 inches of ice. Others have areas of open water so proceed with caution. “Old ice” that has formed again after a melt is not as strong as new ice.
Here are a few advanced bass fishing tips for winter:
If the ice is safe, (for example, I got a report that some of the ice in Minnesota is over 24” thick!) scale down your tackle. Light line prevents from spooking fish, and although thin line is much easier to break, a cold bass will lack the power of a warm one. Just be patient.
When fishing for bass through ice, many anglers like to use smaller lures. Soft plastics of less than 3 inches attached to a drop shot rig may be just the ticket. However, some maintain that winter bass prefer not to bother with the small lures and insist on larger baits such as live golden shiners or small sunfish.
When fishing at least partially open water, keep in mind that the edges of shelf ice may act like the edge of a giant frozen lily pad when bass fishing. Lures such as spoons and lipless crankbaits are terrific at getting reaction strikes if you let them flutter down. An underspin lure like a Road Runner dragged across the bottom can awaken sluggish, cold bass. And a painfully slow jerkbait presentation is one of my wintertime favorites.
Depending on what conditions you find, there are a variety of advanced bass fishing techniques that may work this time of year. Experiment until you get dialed in on what the bass want. Part of the fun of fishing is the discovery. And I just discovered no open water and that the ice is too thin, so I might head to a boat show and try to pick up some more advanced bass fishing techniques.
Debbie Hanson 1/17/2017 When temperatures drop and you’re wondering which winter bass fishing lures to use, you have to think like a bass. In other words, your metabolism has slowed down and you’re not feeling so gung-ho about chasing big baits or fast-moving lures. What […]
It is the middle of winter and seriously cold now in the Northeast. Some anglers, like me, may be suffering from fishing withdrawal from the lack of open water. Others actually look forward to these conditions and can’t wait to get out and “walk on water.” If you were “good” and Santa brought you some ice fishing equipment, do you know where to start?
Here are some tips on where to ice fishing:
1. Safe ice. This is the first requirement for ice fishing. It is recommended that at least 4” of ice be formed to support the weight of an angler. 5” makes me more comfortable. Being out on a frozen lake is a lot of fun, but use caution. Stay safe and always wear a life jacket, safety picks, and don’t fish alone.
2. Ponds. Ponds are a great place where you can ice fish and build your confidence even during the winter months.The concentration of fish in a small area lets you play with various presentations to sluggish fish. When you figure something out, that technique will help you keep trying on larger bodies of water.
3. Edges. Weed edges are a great place to start ice fishing. If you have fished the lake by boat, you may already have a good idea of weed line locations. If not, contour maps will be helpful as weeds are usually limited to shallower parts of the lake.
4. Deep. Contour maps will also reveal the deeper holes or old channels. Fish have a tendency to “sulk” in these deeper places to fish during parts of winter.
5. Structure. Just as with open water fishing, fish still relate to structure. Did you find a brush pile on your electronics? That might be a gold mine of bluegill and crappie.
6. Bottom. Pay attention to how the bottom feels. When I’m looking for a place where I can go ice fishing, I usually look for a firmer lake bottom with some rocks or boulders. However, there are times when a lure jigged up and down to stir up some silt will attract fish such as yellow perch.
7. Not there. Give it a little while, then move and punch some more holes. In general, you are more likely to go to the fish than bring the fish to you.
If your fishing license is up to date, find a buddy and go punch some holes in some safe ice. You just may find a way to help you make it to spring!
You Might Also Like
Tom Keer 1/11/2017 Even though we’re past the Winter Solstice it sure doesn’t feel like it. The sun still sets early, the pitch-black darkness seems unending, and it’s bitter cold outside. Save for some ice fishing trips I have the most amount of free time […]