If you want to enjoy a winter season filled with excellent fishing, then here are some winter fishing tips from Intracoastal Angler, your favorite tackle shop in Wilmington NC.
When and Where to Fish in the Wintertime
Since the days are shorter in the winter, your fishing window is likewise reduced. The weather conditions can also have an impact on your results, so you should always pay close attention to the forecast this time of year. Ideally, you should limit your winter fishing to the hours between 10am and 4pm as this is when the fish are going to be at their most active.
In terms of the weather, you should plan your fishing trips just prior to when a cold front is expected to roll through. Fish can sense the coming shift in the weather and as a result, they’ll be feeding at their highest level right before the cold front arrives.
After the cold front arrives, the barometric pressure is going to be high, so you’ll want to avoid fishing in lakes or rivers with high currents. Your best fishing will be found along the northern bank lines.
Preparing Your Fishing Tackle for Winter Fishing
Winter fishing puts more strain on your tackle than fishing in the summer. Therefore, before heading out, you should thoroughly clean and lubricate your reels so it won’t fail in the cold. You’ll also want to apply line conditioner to your fishing line as cold weather can make monofilament and fluorocarbon lines more of a challenge to manage. Applying line conditioner to your rod’s guides will help prevent water from freezing on them.
Winter Bait Options
Many anglers think that live bait is a poor choice for winter fishing, but in fact, live bait is the best thing you can use in the winter. The reason is because live bait reacts naturally to the cold water.
In the winter, a fish’s metabolism naturally slows, so it’s not going to be moving as quickly as it does in the summer. If you use artificial baits and lures, there’s a chance that you may be reeling it in too quick. This will appear unnatural to the fish and as a result, your lures will scare fish away rather than attract them. When the water temperature dips below 50 degrees and you want to use artificial baits you should stick with ones that have hair or feathers. This will give them more movement in the water because the hair and/or feathers will move naturally with the currents, even when being reeled in slowly.
Another tip for successful fishing in winter is using smaller lures. Due to their slower metabolisms, fish don’t eat as much or as often, so they’ll be more inclined to eat smaller prey over larger prey. Fishing slowly with live bait or smaller lures presents the best chance for a successful winter’s day fishing.
Staying Warm When Fishing in Winter
Staying warm is your first step to safe winter fishing. Your gear should include insulated and waterproof boots, insulated overalls, insulated moisture-wicking long underwear, insulated and breathable socks, a stocking hat, a parka, and gloves. Ideally, you should wear fingerless gloves with heavier thicker insulated gloves over top. A handmuff is another good option for keeping your hands and fingers warm.
Need More Winter fishing Tips? Visit Intracoastal Angler’s Tackle Shop in Wilmington NC
Intracoastal Angler is your one-stop tackle shop in Wilmington NC. We carry everything you need for winter fishing in the coastal Carolinas. Stop by for a visit and we’ll let you know what’s biting and where. Before heading out, visit our website for offer up-to-the-minute weather reports and even more free fishing tips and advice. For more information just give us a call today at 910-392-3500.