How to Beat the Mid-Winter Blues

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As many of us have experienced, fishing in the winter time can be one of the most frustratingly unproductive and least pleasant times of year to fish; but it doesn’t have to be. I’m going to give you a few tips to make the most out of the time spent out on the water this winter and make this time of year a time to look forward to instead of dreading. During the winter time fish are fat and can be one of the best opportunities at catching some of the biggest bass of the year, as well as an opportunity to expand your knowledge of how fish operate and teach you some skills that can be used all year long.

Fishing deep. We all have heard how fish move deep in the winter time. (This has been an) change to (Winter is the perfect) opportunity to learn how to become comfortable fishing out deep. I personally grew up bank fishing like a lot of us did, and even when introduced to fishing off kayaks and boats, I tended to fish shallow at every opportunity, and while sometimes you can still catch some up shallow in the winter time, they are a lot harder to come by which forced me to learn how to fish deep.

One thing I started doing by recommendation of a fishing buddy is simply fishing a blade bait. I started around 20 foot of water in a local reservoir and looked for creek channels, humps, and brush piles. Fish in the winter time will congregate around all of those types of structure and you can experiment to see what type they might be keyed into on that day. I would fish the blade bait similar to a jigging spoon but very slow. A couple hops off the bottom and let it rest while keeping the line tight as I would get some bites while it was just sitting on the bottom still.

Once you get that first bite, that can help you key in on what depth they may be in for that day. We would troll around the lake and jig around in that depth range and find that all around the lake we could find fish in that same range and look for structure in that range to help eliminate dead water. You do not have to limit yourself to one bait though. We fished with lipless crankbaits fishing them the same as the blade bait, jigs with a pork trailer, as well as a dropshot rig or a jerkbait if we found they were suspending off the bottom a little bit.

We caught a bunch of different species of fish fishing this way, even catching a catfish on the blade bait to my surprise. Fishing this way can give you a good head start on fishing (I change to in) cold water, but can also help you in the summertime when the fish move back out to deep water. I used the same technique of using specific depth ranges to help me this past summer to help eliminate dead water and have a better chance at fishing higher percentage areas which can come in handy when you are fishing out in cold temperatures and do not want to be wasting much time not catching anything. Try this technique out next time you get out there and make the most out of your time spent.

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