The Beginner’s Guide to Winter Fishing

Winter isn’t exactly what most anglers would pick to be the perfect season for fishing. While that may be the case for many, some anglers actually welcome temperate species in the form of Australian salmon, silver trevally, and other favorites. If you want to try your luck fishing in colder waters, you best be prepared to bring the right fishing tools and equipment along with you. Here are some winter fishing tips you should consider before going on a trip.

Location Matters

First things first, prepping for your winter fishing trip all starts with picking the right spot to go to. Knowing where the best place to fish is during this season is a crucial step for a successful trip. Of course, with location comes the type of fish you’ll be able to catch, so you better consider that as well. 

As much as possible, avoid rivers or lakes with elevated currents. Not only will it make fishing much more difficult, but it can also be a safety issue. It’s better to go for lakes and rivers that have a naturally stable current, even during winter. Just before you go, look up the current conditions of the area first.

Pick the Right Day and Time to Go

After considering the location, the weather needs to be an even more critical consideration when planning your fishing trip. Keep an eye on the forecast and plan your winter river fishing trip around it. It’s important to keep track of certain conditions, as it will ultimately improve or worsen your odds of successfully obtaining a good catch.

Weather fronts play a big part in how active many freshwater species are. Generally, fish are a lot less active after a front. The best way to boost your chances of success is to plan the trip before a cold front passes.

Time-wise, aim for somewhere between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM in the afternoon. That’s when fish are more likely to be actively feeding. Although it’s very much possible to catch some fish outside of these times, you’ll have a greater chance at the recommended time.

Get All Your Equipment in Order

Now, winter fishing isn’t as easy as fishing any other time of the year. This is because the cold winter temperatures can put additional stress on all your precious equipment. So it only makes sense to make some extra preparations to be ready for anything.

Start by cleaning and lubricating your reel bearings since the chilly weather can become quite extreme and affect your equipment, leaving it stiff and difficult to use. Next is to condition your lines to keep them supple and prevent twisting. You can also use a lime conditioner to stop water from freezing on your rod guides.

Select the Right Bait

Choosing the right winter fishing lures can be tough, as it depends on what you’re trying to catch and the conditions of the water. As much as possible, opt for live bait. Since the fish themselves move more slowly in the cold water, using artificial bait that moves too quickly might turn any potential catch away.

If you do decide to use artificial bait, it’s best to slow down to mimic the sluggish movement of other fish. This could prove a little difficult, especially if you’re not used to doing it. In that case, a live bait would come in handy.


Going on a winter fishing trip is quite a different experience than fishing at any other time. The good news is you’ll have a lot less competition from other anglers, but it also requires a different approach in terms of preparation and technique. Hopefully, this guide will prove helpful on your winter fishing trip.

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