None of us want to make the cold wintry weather an excuse for not getting out on the water. Nevertheless, the approach we take to fishing will differ drastically as the seasonal temperatures drop.
We’ve put together our top tips for fishing in winter, to ensure you get just as much out of your session as you would any other time of year. Wrap up warm and get out there!
Naturally, the places you normally frequent to obtain your catch may not be so generous to you from November to March. Consider changing your choice of venue to one where there appears to be regular catches – talk to fellow anglers, your local tackle shop or consult weekly magazines to find out the best spots.
Look out for summer fish holding features, deep water and/or drop-offs, as these tend to collect a lot of weed and plant life in the winter time which act as a natural food source for fish.
2. The Right Clothing
Having the right clothing is absolutely essential in winter – the more comfortable you are, the longer you’ll be able to stick it out and the more you will enjoy your session.
Remember the three layer system – the base layer
, which sits closest to the skin, is breathable and will wick away moisture; the mid layer
, which is usually some sort of light jacket or fleece to act as insulation between you and the elements, and the top layer
, which ideally should be both waterproof and windproof.
You must also not forget your hands, feet and head, which are all key places where the body loses heat. Always ensure you wear a good pair of sporting or all-round gloves
that will keep your hands warm without interfering with your cast. Appropriate socks
will also keep your feet warm and protected from blisters or chafing, whilst the right pair of waterproof boots
will offer warmth, comfort and support.
Finally, don’t forget the head – a snug beanie, cap or trapper hat
will work wonders at protecting your ears from wind and keeping your whole body that bit warmer.
3. Lighten the Tackle
It’s important to keep your tackle light in winter, not least because of the drop in fish activity and increase in water clarity. A lightweight rod like the Airflo Airtec Switch Nano
will give you better control over your casts in uncertain conditions, whilst some lighter, well lubricated line like the Airflo Ridge floating running lines
will help to reduce the risk of getting coils of line tangled at your feet(!).
4. Choose Your Guides Carefully
It’s important to choose your guides carefully for winter fishing in order to reduce icing during those really cold snaps. The smaller your guide is, the quicker it will freeze up, so consider opting for a standard size guide and always check your line regularly for damage following any icing.