When people envision winter fishing, they tend to picture a group of anglers huddled around a drilled-out hole in the ice. However, there’s more to winter fishing besides ice fishing, especially if you live in an area where ice fishing isn’t feasible. Here are seven reasons why you should go fishing in the winter:
7 Reasons Why You Should Go Fishing in the Winter
1. You Can Go Ice Fishing
Alright, I know we just spent the whole introduction talking about how there’s more to winter fishing than going ice fishing. However, many anglers look forward to it in most northern, mountain, and midwestern states.
The beauty of this sport is at times, it feels more like a get-together with friends than anything. Everyone gets together to embrace the cold and catch some fish. Heck, some people make a whole event of it and bring out their portable grills, favorite food and drinks, and a Bluetooth speaker.
Or, if you live in a warmer state, you can go on a spontaneous out-of-state or out-of-country trip to experience ice fishing.
2. It Puts Your Fishing Skills To the Test
Whether fishing on the ice or in near-freezing water temperatures, wintertime fishing is a great time to challenge yourself. The fish tend to be more lethargic in the winter, forcing you to use a little more finesse. Also, you can learn many new techniques from angling in cold water conditions that are transferable to the regular fishing season.
For example, did you know that using suspended rigs, like the Santee Cooper, is an effective way to catch blue cats in the wintertime? Typically, when the lake’s surface gets colder and denser than its existing layers, fish will hang out in deeper waters where it’s warmer. So, when you’re suspending your baits, make sure to play around with different water depths to find out where those fish are hiding.
3. It Builds Character
Braving the harsh winter weather can certainly push your limits. Most people will call you crazy for choosing to sit out in the cold for hours. However, bearing through unfavorable weather proves how dedicated you’re to the sport.
Check out our checklist if you want some tips and recommendations on items to bring for a winter fish.
4. Recreational Lake Users Have Traded Their Jet Skis for Snow Skis
In the winter months, lakes are far less crowded than in the summertime. I hate when I’m putting around in my small Jon boat, and an obnoxious jet skier or wake boat comes flying past my line. Please don’t misunderstand; there’s nothing wrong with enjoying water sports. However, be respectful when doing it.
Also, fewer people on the water means a shorter to no wait time at the boat ramp, which equals more time for fishing.
5. You Learn How To Be More Patient
Sitting in a boat with the crisp winter air blowing in the background can be soothing. It can even lull you to sleep at times, especially if you’re all bundled up in layers of clothing. Also, It forces you to be more mindful of what you’re doing, especially when patience is required to succeed during a winter fish. In the cooler months, the fish are moving slower, and so should you. So, be attentive to your trolling speeds and present your baits and lures more gently.
6. It Teaches You To Appreciate the Small Things
I’m not going to lie, winter fishing can be slow at times, and some days you might even get skunked. I find these days where I’m least successful makes me grateful for whatever size fish I do end up landing. Whether I’m hooking into dinks or trophy-sized fish, I feel more appreciative of all the time I get to spend fishing.
7. You Can Meet New Friends and Make Fond Memories
Okay, this one might sound cheesy, but you can meet some fun people who may end up being lifelong fishing pals. For many, fishing gives them a sense of community, and it labels us as sportsmen and sportswomen, dedicated to conservation and preserving our favorite fisheries.
Are You Excited To Plan A Fishing Trip This Winter?
Winter fishing can be enjoyed as a solo adventure or with friends and family. The wintertime is an excellent time to refine your fishing skills or to learn some new tricks. It also builds character and makes you a more prepared and mindful angler. So, instead of retiring your rods when it gets cold, put on some layers and hit the water!
Where do you plan on angling this winter? Please, let us know in the comments below. Do you need help persuading a friend into going fishing with you this winter? Please share this article with them on social media.