Outdoor Articles

Cold Weather Trout Fishing Tips

by Pursue The Outdoors on November 30th, 1999 in Trout Fishing

As the new year approaches and the weather continues to get colder, I figured it was time to write an article on cold weather trout fishing tips. I’m not necessarily referring to ice fishing, yet some of these tips can be used for ice fishermen as well. These tips are for those of us who still enjoy getting out on our favorite river or stream to do a little trout fishing, even when the weather is quite cold.

The first thing to keep in mind (if you didn’t already know), is that cold weather trout fishing offers some unique challenges, not the least of which is the fact that the cold weather can be quite uncomfortable. Besides being uncomfortable, cold weather trout fishing means the fishing will normally be much tougher. When the temperature drops, so does the water temperature, and as the water temperature drops, so does the trout’s body temperature. As trout become colder and colder, their metabolism slows down, which means they feed less.

Obviously when trout are feeding less, they are more difficult to catch. In colder weather and water temperatures, a great tip is to use bait that’s as small as you can. If you ice fish, you know all about using tiny baits, well the same goes for trout fishing in river and stream situations. Use hooks, baits, and lures that are as small as you can get away with in cold weather trout fishing situations. This tip will help you get more bites.

The same principle goes for any live bait that you might be using. Cold weather is a great time of year to use maggots and meal worms as trout bait, and if you like to use night crawlers, simply use smaller pieces. For example, a whole night crawler can be pinched into thirds or even quarters in cold weather trout fishing situations.

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When the weather and water temperature are cold, fishing when the trout are the most active is very important. There are certain times of the day and month when fish are more active than others , and knowing this information is highly useful when the weather is cold and the trout aren’t as active anyway. These times of the day and month correlate with the weather and phases of the moon. Planning your fishing trips around the weather and moon is a great idea, especially in cold weather.

The final tip for cold weather trout fishing is the fact that we need to keep our hands as warm as possible while fishing. Not only do our hands need to be warm, but if you’re like me you still need the use of you fingers to fish properly. This is where a quality and comfortable pair of fingerless gloves come into play. I can tell you from experience that being on the river and feeling like your hand is going to fall off, because that hand got wet releasing a freezing cold trout, is no fun at all.

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