Winter fishing can be hard work for the everyday angler. I am a firm believer that the more you are at the lake, either fishing or just walking round Summer or Winter. This surely has to help you catch more fish. However, this is made harder in the Winter due to the shorter days. The average angler (like myself), who has a full time office job, has no chance to get out around the lake, as I would normaly do in the Spring. In the Summer months I only tend to fish a quick night (12hr session), there is not a lot of time to spot any signs of fish and by using the below tips, I have found it a great help over the Winter months.
- Walk around the lake as much as possible (if you can)
- Sharp hooks (all year round rule)
- Location, Location, Location (all year round tip)
- Not too much bait
- Keep a dairy of previous year’s results/location
- Fish over dead pads
- Fish by snags
- Fish near reeds beds
- Keep away from those cold easterly winds
- Get friendly with a fellow member who fishes during the day (pool your information)
- Keep your ears on the lake even in the dark, you never know you may hear a fish.
- Keep your eyes on the water – on clear calm night, you may just spot a fish
- Less boilies, more stick mix type of baiting up
- Plenty of attraction, not too much food
- Tiny amounts of pre-baiting (Small handfuls of bait, scattered around the lake)
The above tips will hopefully help you to keep one step ahead of the rest. The real hard part I find with Winter fishing is having to set up in the dark & pack up in the dark.
If I am luckly, I may get there just in time to see last light and sometimes I am able to stay till first light. Even if this means I am pushing the barrow around the lake, I will always keep my eyes and ears open (alert to any fishy sign’s) as this could be the key to a great Winter.
If you are lucky enough to have a friend who also fishes, but preferably not at the same time as you. You can pool you information/knowledge.
If I am really stuck for options, I sometimes set up a swim which will give me the best view of the lake. If I wake up in the night, I will put the kettle on and have a brew and watch the lake of an hour. Hard work, however, if you spot that fish. It could make a bad Winter into the best Winter you have ever had.
Till next time