Are you planning a winter fishing trip to Louisiana? It’s a unique fishing experience that you’ll absolutely love–but you have to know what you’re doing.
See, fish tend to be a little elusive in the winter. But would you enjoy moving around in freezing water? You have to give them a little incentive to bite.
This can take a bit so don’t get impatient and go home. Keep reading for a few winter fishing tips you can use to make the most out of the trip and go home with a full pale of fish!
1. Pick the Ideal Spot
The first thing you need to know is how to pick the perfect spot to cast out your line. Not to say you should go to a shallow fishing area, but you probably won’t have much luck in one that has a high water level. You should also go on a trusted Louisiana website to find out what the current is like in certain areas.
Not only can an area with a high current be dangerous but you probably won’t catch much fish anyway because they don’t exactly like being active in the winter. They will elect to be in calmer water.
2. It’s All About Timing
Another important factor is the time of day in which go you fishing. The fish tend to be more active in warmer water. This doesn’t rule out winter fishing as a possibility obviously but you have to play it a little smart.
The worst time to go is early in the morning when the frost is still on the ground. The fish won’t be moving around too much. The best time to go is during the last hour of daylight because the water has had time to warm up and even though the chill of the night is setting in, it will take the water time to cool back off.
Another thing you need to take into account is cool fronts. The fish will be more active before a front and less active after.
3. Prepare Your Equipment
Winter fishing can put a strain on your equipment, so you have to make sure that it will be more than prepared for the extra challenge. If the reel baring on your rod was stiff in the summer, chances are Winter fishing will just finish it off.
If your reel is a bit on the old side, you can put life back into it by cleaning it and applying a fresh coat of oil or grease. If you feel like you’re not experienced enough for this task most specialty shops will do it for you for about 25 dollars.
Cold weather also doesn’t do any favors to lines so you’ll want to pick up a can of line conditioner. This will stop it from it from getting stiff and tangling.
4. Give them Incentive
Again, fish don’t exactly like moving around in the winter. You’ll have to present them with a little incentive to get them to take the bait. It has to react like live prey in the cold water.
The best choice for this is either live bait or artificial ones that have feathers or hair. Plastic ones get stiff in the water which is no good. Fish’s metabolisms shrink in the Winter so you also want to use small bait.
If you use large ones the fish may not go for it because they want something that they will be able to easily digest. If you still don’t get a bite, you can spray the lure with an attractant to entice them further.
5. Keep Yourself Safe
More importantly than catching fish, you need to keep yourself safe. First off, never fish alone. Go with a friend because with boating season being over there will be fewer rescuers around to act in the event of an emergency.
It’s wise to wear layers of clothing but use synthetic wool only. Cotton won’t do much to protect you from the cold if you fall overboard and get wet. Speaking of falling overboard you need a life jacket that is warm otherwise you’re just asking for hypothermia.
Lastly, bring along snacks and drinks that are high in energy. They will keep you warmer than something like alcohol which will dilate your blood vessels.
6. Check Their Bellies
When you pull up fish make sure to check their bellies. If there is silt on the fish than that means the fish was closer to the bottom of the fishing area. This means that you might get a little more luck if you cast into deeper water and fish more vertically.
It also means that you need to take your time and leave your bait there for a little while to capture the attention of the fish.
7. Check the Open Water
While it’s sometimes wise to fish around where there is swim cover like plants, you might want to avoid doing this in the winter. The fish are more likely to travel out in deeper water where there is a bigger chance of it being warmed by the sun.
If you do decide to still fish around plants and trees, keep in mind that you probably won’t find any around where there are dead leaves.
Winter Fishing Tips to Help You Make the Most Out of Your Trip
While fishing is fun, you could waste your time if you plan your trip to Lousiana before doing research on how to fish during the Winter. Fish behave differently when the cold sets in. Use these Winter fishing tips to take advantage of this fact.
It’s hard to catch any fish at all if you don’t have the right equipment. Keep reading to find out all the tools that you will need.