Outdoor Articles

Fishing In Cold Weather

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

Fishing in cold weather can be quite challenging and offers some unique challenges that anglers don’t have to deal with when the weather is “good”. For the purposes of this article I’m not referring to ice fishing, in my opinion ice fishing is a totally different animal. I’m referring to fishing like you normally would, the only difference being that the weather is colder.

Without boring you with a diatribe on bundling up and layering, which I assume you are well aware of, I’m going to focus on the actual fishing. Not just the fishing, but the fish themselves. Cold weather can have a dramatic affect on the fish themselves.

As the weather gets cooler, the water temperature obviously gets colder as well. As the temperature of the water drops, so does the body temperature of the fish. Seeing as how fish are cold blooded, this drop in body temperature has a dramatic effect on the fishes behavior. Fish become much more sluggish in cold weather and therefore it’s a god idea to pay attention to when you’re fishing.

In colder water temperatures fish don’t feed as much, so paying attention to other factors that affect their feeding behavior is important. The easiest things to pay attention to are the weather and moon. When I refer to weather and moon, I’m referring specifically to the moon phase and frontal systems that pass through your fishing area. These two things have a dramatic affect on fishes feeding patterns, and that affect is multiplied when the weather is cold.


Paying attention to the weather and moon is easier than you might think. As a matter of fact, a half an hour or so of study will do wonders to help your fishing success in cold weather. Were you aware of the fact that fish bite better during certain phases of the moon? It’s true, and fishing when the moon is in your favor will help your catch rates.

The other big thing to keep in mind when fishing in cold weather is your hands. Keeping your hands warm is of the utmost importance. But many times us anglers still need the use of our fingers when fishing. This is where a pair of quality fingerless gloves comes into play. They can be the difference between fishing and going home to get warm. Believe me, I know this is true from experience.

The bottom line is that fishing in cold weather simply offers some different challenges than fishing in other weather conditions. Familiarize yourself with the weather and moon and keep your hands warm and you’ll be much better off. Oh, and don’t forget to layer up and all that.

Trevor Kugler is co-founder of JRWfishing.com and an avid angler. He has more than 20 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and 15 years of business and internet experience. He currently raises his three year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country…..Montana!

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