Can You Catch Fish In The Winter?

For many reasons, fishing in the winter can be more rewarding. The hunting seasons make anglers exchange lakes for the woods, and cold temperatures keep them home during fair weather. For cold weather anglers, it implies more fish because most freshwater species group up at this time of the year. Memorable fishing trips are best experienced during this time with research, preparation, and the appropriate tackle. Have you ever considered fishing in the winter but are unsure of where to start? If yes, you’ve come to the right place. Please read through to the end to discover everything you need to know, including the various species of fish caught during winter and how to latch them. 

Yes. This depends on the fish you’re targeting, your resilience to cold weather, and the location. But fishers are banned in most regions, considering the weather. 

Since the weather keeps most anglers cozied up next to their wood-burning stove, fishing in winter can be as great as it is in the summer. It takes some prep, but the good thing is, you’ll get more fish on your lure with the proper equipment. You can have some of the best successful adventures while fishing in winter with some mindfulness of the conditions and some good planning. If you are rational about trying it anytime, you’ll set out for a good catch without much thinking after reading through to the end. 

What Are The Best Baits For Fishing In Winter?

Best Baits For Fishing In Winter

Are you wondering whether the current baits you have will perfectly work for winter fishing? Most species’ metabolism slows down in colder waters, and it can be very difficult to lure them to feed in winter. They are much more active during the rest of the year and need far less food in the cold season. Selecting the right fishing baits is the best way to persuade them into feeding. To ease your experience, the following options of fishing baits might work for you.

1. Corn:

Even in colored water, these are highly visible and easily digested. They work best when presented lengthwise on a size 20 or hair-rigged through the middle on an 18.

2. Paste:

It can be bobbed onto PVA stringers, used as a wrap-around for any hook bait or bomb, or even a plug for watch-style leads. Mix it with water rather than eggs for a more rapid breakdown for non-hook bait applications.

3. Maggots:

These are colorful, easily digested by carps, and among the most effective tactics for winter carp catchers. To balance the weight of the hook, don’t forget to include a couple of rubber grubs on the rig.

4. Bread:

Use a finely liquidized white sliced loaf as it scores on the rivers with roach and chub. You can remove crusts from the slices for a finer mix, producing smaller particle sizes less likely to make a feeding fish full.

Factors To Consider When Fishing During Winter:

Factors To Consider When Fishing During Winter

After finding out that winter fishing is productive, several factors major for a significant catch of fish. If you follow these important tricks as an angler, you’ll end up catching more fish. Let’s look at each of them in detail;

1. The Fishing Tackle:

Ensure you tune up your reels because winter is hard on the fishing tackle. Thickening old oil and grease, cold temperatures will freeze up your reels’ stiff bearings. To keep your line straight and tangle-free, you can use a line conditioner. 

2. Location:

If you’re used to fishing in any season, picking the right spot to cast your line is very important. Check out your State’s Department of Natural Resources website if you’re unsure where the good fishing spots are located during the cold season. Avoid rivers or lakes with high currents, for they’re dangerous and unsafe for fishing.

3. The Right Bait;

Lures are ineffective during winter, but you can instead use live baits. They’ll be more enticing to the fish as they move slowly in cold water. To maintain the action, go for lures attached with feathers or hair if you insist on them during the cold weather. Use attractants in the soft plastic lure to entice them since they don’t get hungry in the cold. With a reduced metabolism rate in winter, reduce the size of the lure and use artificial bait that latches multiple fish.

4. Weather Timing;

Depending on the time for the cold front, the weather drastically affects the fish levels of activity. You’re likely to get a good catch just before the front passes because fish feed just before it. Regardless of the weather, the best time to fish is between 10 a.m and 4 p.m is. The bites may be fewer and farther between if you go earlier or later.

What Are Some Of The Fish Caught During Winter?

As an angler, I’m sure you’ve ever come across this question in various instances. But have you ever tried fishing during the cold season to find out? The table below provides you with all the facts and information you might want to know before stepping out to fish. Read on.

Type Of Fish:Description:
PerchThey enjoy living in cold climates, and you can catch them using a stick with a traditional-sized reel or an ultralight fishing reel. 
CatfishThey’re a good catch in winter than other species though they don’t care what season it is. Feeding at all times during winter, they are bottom feeders, and the temperature doesn’t fluctuate that much at the bottom of a lake or river. Stick to a spinning reel or a normal baitcasting reel, for they tend not to live in regions with lots of ice.
Musky and pikeEven when the temperature drops, they are fun catching in winter and active hunters. You can fish with topwater lures and musky bucktails if the waterbody doesn’t have ice. Pikes don’t grow as large as musky though very similar, so you can use a similar technique to catch them in winter. 
Walleye Walleye ice fishing is quite impressive as they’re possibly the most common species caught in the col season. Use a solid ice fishing reel, a drill with an ice auger, and an ice fishing jacket or suit, depending on where you’re fishing.
Steelhead This is a great target species in the Northwest. You can catch them with spinners, bead fishing, on the fly, and nymphing. To protect their territory, they also attack foreign fish roe. 
Marlin Anglers catch plenty of striped marlin in winter though they can be caught all year round as with many tropical pelagic species.
Trout , their metabolism permits them to maintain a high level of activity, allowing them to swim under cold conditions.
Crappie Using small plastics, spinners, and minnows, you can reel them in the south.
Northern pike Running through almost all the lakes in the North, they are aggressive and found in the coldest water bodies. They’ll feed on artificial lures and minnows.

Safety Measures To Consider When Fishing In Winter:

After going through some fish species to catch in winter, can we talk about the safety measures to consider when fishing? It is unsafe once you go out with the wrong gear, and not every angler will take their safety into account when it comes to fishing in the cold season. Be careful because January and February have the greatest boating fatalities, according to the U.S Coast Guard. Some of the key points to consider as an angler are as follows;

 1. Avoid cotton and wear layers because it freezes your tracks when wet. The best are wool and synthetic fabric.

2. For everyone on board, ensure you wear a life jacket over your coat. They don’t work if you’re in the water while they’re in the boat. 

3. Check in with your family, friends, or even spouse as a float plan on a preset schedule. They should call the proper authorities if they don’t hear from you, and you should not change the float location or plan without informing them.

4. To keep your extremities pleasantly warm, invest in hand and foot warmers, for example, hot hands, and stuff them into your shoes and gloves.

Even if you’re a pro, never fish alone during winter. This is to ensure action is taken as soon as possible in case of any emergency.

Don’t forget to carry some food with you for the trip, either hot soup or coffee, to keep you warm all through.


Fishing in the winter is most definitely good. Hope you now have the answers to the common fish species to go for during winter and the important factors to weigh before setting out to fish. With all the information provided in this article, go ahead and enjoy a memorable experience and a better catch. Happy fishing!

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