6 Tips For Winter Fishing

Although many people associate fishing with spring, summer, and fall, there are many fishes that are actually easier to catch during the winter months. This is particularly true in California, where temperatures regularly drop just a little below 50 in most areas. This climate makes it a lot easier to withstand winter fishing and many fish will be more than ready to take your bait.

Here are important tips to help you make the most out of your winter fishing:

1. Look for the right fish

Bass are excellent winter fish, as are crappie and bluegill. Every once in a while you may also come across some salmon, but these three will be the most likely catches. In fact, many bass fishermen prefer to fish in the winter simply because it is a lot easier to increase your take. If you have other fish in mind, make sure you do a little research into their winter habits before heading out.

2. Use the right bait

Fish are much hungrier during the winter months, so you won’t have to worry too much about them being picky. However, live bait usually works best in this situation and will increase your chances of getting a successful catch. Minnows are an excellent choice or another type of small fish. Worms will be a little harder for the fish to spot, which brings us to our next tip.

3. Use a bright or reflective lure

Winter months are usually overcast, so you’ll need to take advantage of a bright or reflective lure in order to get the attention of the fish. Keep in mind that it’s going to be pretty dark down there, and the more you are able to draw their attention upward, the better your chances are of landing some great fish.

4. Slow it down

Bass fishing, in particular, requires a little more patience in the winter months. The fish are a bit more sluggish due to the colder temperatures, so this can work in two ways. First, they are of course easier to catch, but second, they will take longer to get to your bait. Make sure you set up a good spot and then wait a while before trying a new one.

5. Look in the right places

Bass and crappie will tend to be near the edges of the lake during the warmest parts of the day, but you can also find them under outcroppings and piers.

6. Dress appropriately

Even in California, it is possible to get way too cold. Make sure that you bring plenty of warm clothing and consider bringing a thermos with a hot beverage. It will help you stay out longer. If you plan on camping through the night, you will need to bring extra gear in order to stay warm, particularly if you will be fishing in the mountains where nighttime temperatures can fall into the thirties. No one likes being miserably cold, but it’s easy enough to prevent this with the right gear.