Cold Water Fishing Tips – How To Land More Fish In Winter

It would be lovely to spend your days fishing in the warm sun but not everyone has that luxury.

There are many advantages to fishing in cold weather which might make you want to head out more in the colder months.

First of all, there will be much less competition with other anglers as a lot of people are not too keen on the idea of fishing in cold weather, but also because of a common misconception other anglers have that fishing in colder weather is more difficult- this is in fact not true.

Cold weather fishing tips

Although it may seem more difficult fishing in cold water, in actual fact certain freshwater species tend to group together.

When this fact is put together with less competing anglers it makes your chances of catching these fish much higher.

Of course summer fishing has its benefits but if you prepare well for the cold weather you could be in for a treat.

Our top tips for cold weather fishing


Location is key when it comes to cold weather fishing-  Shallow bays that are not being hit by wind and get some sun are amazing areas to fish in the colder months because they naturally attract fish.

This is because the shallow water will heat up more than other areas and attract fish to gather there.

Once you have bait in these types of areas your chances for catching in the cold will be hugely increased.

You should always check the current conditions before heading out for a day of cold weather fishing- and always remember it is important to plan ahead because it could save you wasted hours out in the cold.


The weather forecast is the utmost important thing to think about when planning to go cold-weather fishing – it is not just about how pleasant the weather may be for you but mainly because certain conditions can increase or decrease your likelihood of catching any fish.

Try to go on the sunniest day possible and between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm as this is when the fish are most active.


Winter fishing can be bad news for your fishing equipment if you do not look after it properly.

First of all, ensure you check all your fishing reels and lubricate your reel bearings- by doing this you can ensure your reel bearings are not stiff and difficult to use.

The last thing you want is to spend hours in the cold, catch a fish and not be able to reel it in due to poorly maintained equipment.

At the start of the season, it is best to find a professional that can take apart and clean your reels. This can be done for a surprisingly low price and can help massively when fishing in cold weather.

Ensure your lines are conditioned to enable them to work to the best of their ability- by doing this you can prevent twisting as well as stop water from freezing on your rod lines.

We would recommend taking a dry bag to keep all of your personal belongings safe from the rain, wind or water.

cold water fishing tips

Best Bait – How to choose the best bait for cold water fishing

There are many types of bait that can be used and depending on your personal preference different types of bait may be more suited to you than others.

Here are a few tips which are helpful when choosing your cold-weather fishing bait:

Opting for live bait is a good choice when winter fishing as the fish will be moving slowly- artificial bait can sometimes move too fast and often scare the fish away which is the opposite of what you want.

If you prefer artificial bait then it can still be a good option but you must try to mimic live bait as much as possible.

Opting for a slower method which mimics live bait is a good idea because it won’t spook the fish. At the same time, choosing a brightly coloured artificial bait can help attract fish in darker- which is common in the colder months.

Ensure you properly research the water and pick equipment that is made for the types of fish which will be active in the months you will visit.

You should target species that are winter feeders such as pike, chub, or perch – you may target certain fish in the summer but in the colder months, there is no need for the fish to ‘overfeed’ due to having a slower metabolism.

Adding some flavour to boost your bait can be beneficial in winter months- even using a flavoured hook can have some appeal. Alcohol based flavour will work wonders when fishing in the colder months.

Fishing At Different Depths 

Usually sinking the hook straight to the bottom is a good idea but in the colder months, it can be better to try different depths to find where the fish are feeding. Carps anglers have huge success in the winter months with using zig rigs that are adjustable.

If you are well prepared and take the time to get clued up on fishing in the colder months then you can be very successful. Just remember to take the time and test out different fishing depths, for example, change up the length of the line from your bobber to your hook.

It’s common that fish will feed at different depths as the water temperature changes from the hotter to the colder months.

winter fishing tips


So that’s it! We hope you managed to find the information you were looking for within our article on winter fishing tips and that it helps you get out fishing in the colder months.

You may have to work a little bit harder but with less competition, it can be well worth it- as long as you are prepared with the correct equipment and key knowledge which hopefully you have found in this article.

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