All of us here at Lureandfly.com used to suffer from the winter doldrums pretty badly. Maybe we fished for Bream a lot a found it harder going than during the warmer months (not to say the can’t be caught in winter in fact some anglers shine through the colder months) but the undeniable fact is that 5 years ago I used to loathe the changing of the seasons when it came to my fishing life. Since then though we have found plenty to keep us going and here are 3 tips to getting the most out of winter.
1. Stay Warm. A pretty simple one but having the right gear to keep you on the water makes a huge difference. I remember my very first ABT round as a non boater on the Clarence river back in the old days when it was always smack bang in the middle of winter. No worries, I bought two pairs of fleecy trackpants from Lowes, I’ll just wear both. I froze. I was really uncomfortable for about 20 minutes after each spot move and it wasn’t a whole lot of fun. I bought a good Gore-Tex bib and brace and matched it with a Daiwa Tournament Jacket and it means I’m quite happy to stay out in any kind of weather.
2. Get Plenty of Sleep. Easily one of my favourite things about winter now, It’s a million times easier to keep “gentleman’s hours” when wetting a line. Partly because boat and angler traffic are at a minimum unlike summer where gentlemans hours can see you waiting in line at the boat ramp for an hour face palming yourself watching the true weekend warriors or try to keep your cool while umpteen jet skis do donuts around you on the shallow flat you are fishing but also because there are plenty of situations where the warmth of the sun can be the trigger for the fish to start up. Plenty of impoundment dam Bass get caught after 9 or 10am in winter whereas in summer you are usually coming in by then. I’m certainly no fan of getting up at 4am in the summertime to go fishing and the winter sleep in is greatly appreciated.
3. Change it up. This is one of the most important ones if you get the winter doldrums. I used to wonder what I was going to do next, now I have a little planner in my head and I wonder how I’m going to fit it all in. May, spawn run Brown Trout. June/July big fat lake Rainbow Trout. July/August, Blackfish on fly. Sprinkle all of that with inshore Snapper in the kayak and my dance card seems pretty full now. I’ve said it many times before but Facebook and Instagram are two of your best friends when it comes to finding that “change up” in species. If the Salmon and Bonito have football field size schools of bait herded up and are smashing them all day chances are you will get the instant tip off on social media and if it sounds like something you might like dive in and give it a go.