Debbie Hanson 2/28/2017 There is a certain type of rugged serenity that is characteristic of the places known for the best ice fishing in the world. Whether it’s the sound of fresh snow crunching under your boots or feeling the subtle bite of a winter […]
Month: February 2017
Andy Whitcomb 2/27/2017 It is important to know when to bass fish because depending on your part of the country, bass may be awakening from a winter “sulk” and starting to transition into bass spawning season. Traditionally, this pre spawn period (roughly March) is when […]
Photo Credit H. Earl Evans
Anyone heading out to do some trout fishing in the winter clearly loves to fish. It’s cold and windy, but what’s the alternative, staying inside? If the water is open, it’s time to go. Here are a few winter trout fishing tips that will put fish in the net.
1. Low and slow, that is the tempo. When water temps are between 55-65 degrees a trout metabolizes one stomach full of food per day. When the temps are higher or lower, they burn up that same stomach full of food every four days. Move your flies slowly and on the bottom.
2. Target hatches. Some rivers and streams have excellent winter midge hatches. When trout take advantage of the easy pickings you’ll definitely want to be on the water.
3. Somber colors…or? The rule of thumb is natural, muted colors in the winter. That said, if the fish aren’t responding toss ’em a brighter colored spoon, spinner, or fly.
4. Deliver room service. Precision casting means the trout don’t have to move far to eat. Trout hang in slower water, so pick pocket your way around big rocks, along banks, and in deeper pools and runs.
5. Watch your step. Trout fishing in winter can be slippery. Cleats offer additional traction on snow and ice. A wading staff turns your two-legged body into a tri-pod. Extra stability keeps anglers upright, vertical, and, more importantly, dry.
6. Warm up. Winter trout fishing tips include clothing. Base layer, mid layer, outer layer, shell. Use silk, poly pro, or performance layers near your skin to wick moisture away from your body. Staying dry means staying warm. After that, it’s your choice of fleece or wool layers. Add a shell to keep the wind from penetrating. Fingerless gloves adds warmth while providing dexterity.
7. De-ice your guides. Near freezing temperatures plus air freezes up a fly rod’s stripping guides. Some companies make special pastes that keep guides from icing up. You can also use aerosol cooking spray like Pam. Chapstick works pretty good, too.
Of course you can catch fish in the winter, and it doesn’t need to be through the ice. Winter trout fishing from shore sure beats being indoors. Find some open water, dress warmly, and catch ’em up.
Debbie Hanson 2/21/2017 Do you love recreational fishing, but want to get a feel for what it might be like to fish competitively? How about finding and entering one of the best fishing tournaments near you? Local fishing tournaments can be a great way to […]
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What exactly does pre-spawn mean for bass fishermen? It’s the time just before bass spawning season when the bass move from their deep-water winter haunts and into the shallows to breed. Once bass spawning season starts you’ll want to leave the fish alone, but before you do, here are 5 pre spawn bass fishing tips to get in on the action.
Tip 1 Find the fish. As water temperatures warm, bass move into the shallows to feed. Some anglers start their days fishing deep water and if they don’t find fish they work their way into the shallows. That approach mirrors the bass’ spring movements. Another method is to start in shallow water and then go deep. I like that method, especially because it might result in hot, pre-spawn topwater action.
Tip 2 Find the temperature. 50 degree water is the magic number for when to absolutely bass fish. Find temperatures around 50 and you’ll be on your way to finding the fish.
Tip 3 The Ideal Spot. An ideal spot before bass spawning season is a cove with an inlet and a shelf that drops off into deeper water. The drop off doesn’t need to be steep or deep. Some of the best spots only have a 2-3 foot adjoining drop. They should have grass and weedbeds for they attract baitfish.
Tip 4 Gathering points. One of the best pre spawn bass fishing tips is to find gathering points. Bass stage before they move to their spawning beds. Points that extend further out into a lake are good as are the transitions between flats and drop offs. While you’re there check the flats but know they can be either hit or miss. Water ways that connect large lakes with backwater ponds are outstanding. That kind of water connecting a major and minor body of water shelfs up, and is perfect for finding concentrations of pre spawn bass.
Tip 5 Conditions. Cloudy and windy days push bass around while sunny, high pressure weather keeps ’em put. Warming weather fires up the fishing while cooling trends shuts it down.
Pre spawn bass are predictable and they are there to feed. And when bass spawning season rolls around and the fish fall in love you’re unlikely to see them in these spots until next year.
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There are many reasons to fish. Stress release, fun, or the challenge, are some of the most popular reasons. Some anglers even enjoy a fishing competition. There are hundreds of fishing tournaments organized all around the country. To find the best fishing tournaments near you, […]
A lot of boaters never check their vessels after their outboard is winterized, the electronics are removed and the shrink wrap is tight. It’s not easy to maintain a fishing boat in the winter, and a periodic check makes a lot of sense. Here are 4 winter boat maintenance tips that will make your spring launch much easier.
1. Check your trailer. Leaves can pile up under your trailer. They get wet, they are covered with snow and ice, and that moisture rusts roller and bunk brackets. Rake them out before it’s too late.
2. Check your shrink wrap. Maintaining a fishing boat in the winter can be as simple as checking to make sure that your covering is in tact. It’s difficult to puncture shrink wrap, but branches tossed around in a strong wind can poke a hole in the plastic that allows water inside. A more common issue pertains to tarps that aren’t securely fastened. They blow around in strong winds and rain, and they collapse under the weight of snow. Check your covering, patch any holes, and keep the water at bay.
3. Tire pressure. If you haven’t put your trailer on blocks then check your tire pressure. Two additional winter boat maintenance tips. If you’re storing your trailer for more than a month then inflate tires to maximum pressure. Avoid long-term storage on soft ground such as grass or dirt. Trailers plus boat weight plus water-logged ground can equal trouble. Be careful your trailer doesn’t sink in.
4. Take advantage of winter months. There are some things you can work on during the winter while your boat is in dry dock. Boat bottom cleaning is time consuming, so if you can use down time in the winter to scrape and wash your hull then you’ll just need to sand and paint the bottom when the weather is warm. If you can access the cockpit then drill holes for new electronics, run transducer cables and replace any corroded components. It’s a good time for new hubs, too.
The more you maintain a fishing boat in the winter the easier it is to splash in the spring. After all, that’s when the fun begins.
Lauren Seidl 2/8/2017 No matter how you choose to enjoy the water, life jackets are a key part of boating safety. A life jacket, or PFD (personal flotation device), allows you to stay afloat if you fall into the water. Boating laws require each passenger […]