W e generally have good fall weather, and some really good fishing to go along with it.
As air and water temps drop, a lot of anglers will store their rods and reels until springtime when things begin to warm-up once again.
Others will “pick-n-choose” the days they fish during cold weather in an attempt to spend only the absolute nicest days out on the water. Then there are the die-hard anglers who could care less about the weather conditions—they simply want to be out on the water fishing.
Regardless which type of angler you may be during the wintertime months, you need to know that some of the year’s nicest trout (and redfish) are landed in cold-water conditions. Your decision to fish during times of colder temperatures doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Making just a few minor adjustments to the way you normally fish can often spell success at the end of a cold day.
Being warm is important for anglers venturing out into cold weather, so changing the way you dress will make a lot of difference. Listen to weather forecasts and attempt to dress for the occasion.
Dressing in layers can provide ample warmth for even the harshest of conditions. At the same time, it allows you to adjust the amount of clothing to satisfy any comfort level. Remember, you can always take clothes off if you get too hot, but you can’t put clothes on if you don’t have them. Having extra dry clothes isn’t a bad idea either, and staying dry in the cold is a very good thing!
During the warmer months, depending on what kind of lure is being used, lure anglers may vary the action at the tip of their fishing rod as they attempt to draw a strike, but the speed of the retrieve generally remains quick.
Such a speedy retrieve in cold water will most often only leave your arm extremely tired and sore, and you’ll have nothing to show at the end of the day for your hard efforts.
November’s water temperatures signal to the fish it’s time for their metabolism to slow down because there is less eating until things begin to warm again. Their bodies automatically go into power-saving mode as a direct result.
Generally speaking, this means that just about all of the fish’s actions usually slow down considerably—their swimming motions, their reaction speed and movements, and even the force with which they strike at their prey.
This means that you need to retrieve your lure as slowly as possible. When you think you’re reeling slowly, slow it down even more. The strike at the end of your line may feel like nothing more than a brief bump. These fish are laid-back in these colder conditions, and they usually aren’t going to exert any effort that isn’t absolutely necessary to sustain life.
Also, adjust how you cover an area when wading. Try anchoring the boat in a little bit deeper water. Then begin your wading session by heading directly toward the shoreline, while casting from nine o’clock to three o’clock positions.
As you approach the bank, turn in either direction and walk along the bank the distance of one of your casts, then turn and start heading back out to deeper water while walking perpendicular to the bank. This type of zigzag wading pattern allows significant coverage of a lot of real estate, as doing so essentially leaves no part of the immediate vicinity unexplored.
Extensive coverage like this can often mean the difference between catching and fishing, especially in cold-water
If there’s one thing that’s certain in life, it’s that change is inevitable. From an angler’s perspective this means that all of the many variables associated with coastal fishing will undergo change. This includes the wind, the water conditions, the air and water temperatures, the bait, the structure, etc.
Coastal anglers who can visualize the approaching changes and who can adapt, will be the ones to succeed in fishing for cold-water trout and redfish. Until next time, tight lines to all.
Email Chris Martin at [email protected]
or visit bayflatslodge.com