When people think of fishing, they usually picture themselves basking in the sun on a warm day out in the water with sunglasses on and maybe a cold beer. But what happens when the warm weather we are spoiled with in Texas begins to slip away, and the temperature begins to drop? Unfortunately a lot of fishermen may be less eager to get on the water during the cold winter months. However, if you can bare the cold, there are plenty of fish sitting and waiting to be caught during the cooler and colder months. With a few helpful tips and hints, you can be enjoying Friday night fish fries all winter long.
Locating Fish during the Winter Months
During the summer months, it is easy to spot where you should fish. Usually, you gravitate towards vegetation and trees in the water where the fish form habitats, or you search for trees overhanging the water that produce shade where the fish swim for cooler water temperatures. This can be tough during winter months because a lot of the time there is no sun casting shade, and the vegetation in the water is not in bloom. There are a few prominent places during the winter that produce great fish. First off, avoid the shallows. During the cold, attack the deeper water where the fish will be trying to stay warm. Look along ledges and drop offs in the lake- fish love the drastic change in depth, and tend to gather in the deeper portions during the cold. Marinas are also a prime location to hook a big fish during the winter. Marinas are often in very deep, stable, sheltered parts of the lake. Winter fish love these types of areas and naturally gravitate towards them during the cold. Breakwaters, bulkheads and docks enhance the appeal of these winter locations for fish. The last tip for locating is keeping an eye towards the North West. The North West banks and sides of structures should be fished the hardest due to the fact that it is typically the warmest side of structures and banks during the winter months.
Choosing the Right Bait
Fish are like humans- during the winter we do not want to move long distances in the cold for little food. Fish during the winter are going to move as little distance as possible to eat and when they eat, they want big meals. Winter is the time to throw out grub baits as well as soft plastic swim baits and worms. Cast to the shallow edge of a bank and allow the grub to sink to the bottom, raising the rod tip as the bait reaches the bottom to lift the grub. Repeat this technique until the grub is back to the boat. Bass often bite when the grub is on the fall, so be ready to set the hook. When it comes to the swim baits, go big or go home! Instead of the 4 inch baits you were throwing in the summer, switch to a 10-12 inch bait that will give the fish some motivation to get out of their warm hole to chase your bait. Take these tips and brave the weather to enjoy fishing and tasty meals all year long.
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