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How To Stay Safe While Fishing in the Winter

How To Stay Safe While Fishing in the Winter

Posted by Bixpy on Jan 14th 2022

Contrary to popular belief, summer isn't the best season for fishing. Winter is prime time for many types of fish starving below the surface, making them anxious to chomp on some bait. The major drawback of fishing in the heart of January and February is the climate. A multitude of problems can occur when the temperature drops, so learn how to stay safe while fishing in the winter and the precautions you need to take.

Clothing Advice

You may feel like you must dress up to look like the little brother in A Christmas Story to stay warm. However, you can dress comfortably and stay toasty if you wear the suitable layers.

Socks and Shoes

Your feet are the most vital part to protect, so the investment of cold-weather socks and footwear is crucial. It's nice to find a pair that keeps the feeling in your toes, but you also need to protect them from getting wet. Slush, ice, and water can seep their way through boots that aren't waterproof, speeding up the process of any cold-related ailments like frostbite.

In terms of socks, the best strategy is to double-dip. Thick and heavy wool socks are fine for temperature, while moisture-wicking socks keep you dry. Building a fortress for your feet makes certain that your feet stay protected.

Layer Up

The number one tip is layering up to keep your body warm no matter what you do in the winter. While that's true, an important aspect of layering is being able to take apparel off when you start to sweat. Like socks, you will want to have a combination of wool and moisture-wicking garb for the best results.

Gloves and Hats

Don't forget your other set of phalanges when shopping for cold-weather attire. Like your feet, a lot of your body's heat escapes through the head. Your hands work the most when fishing, so you'll want to shield them from the elements. Although they aren't ideal for warmth, neoprene gloves are a fantastic choice to keep dry. Additionally, grab a stocking cap to keep the top of your head warm. Something simple like a fleece cap is more than adequate.

Find a Location

Finding the right spot is integral to winter fishing. You don't want to set up shop at a location where you aren't going to get any bites. It's not fun when your teeth are chattering while waiting to reel in your first fish. Research the sites you're considering and see if any locales are prime for winter anglers.

Park and Natural Resources websites should give you the lowdown on what you can expect. For example, you're better off avoiding rivers or lakes with high currents; they are usually bad for fishing and can be treacherous. Plus, you can eliminate watering holes based on their current conditions.

Take Advantage of the Weather

The shorter days and drastic winter weather limit the opportunities available for anglers. Shifts in temperature significantly impact activity levels for some species. Fish tend to scrounge about the water right before passing a cold front, so it's advantageous for you to head out before the water heats up.

No matter the weather, you can sleep in instead of summer fishing. When it's dark and frigid, fish tend to stay away because they expend their energy on staying warm. Hence, wait until the sun is bright, between 10 AM to 4 PM, and reap the awards of ravenous fish looking for their first meal.

Fishing Gear

Unfortunately, you must modify the typical course of action in the winter, even if it works for summer ventures. Frosty conditions will lock up and stiffen the oil on your reels, making maintenance of the reels critical throughout the season. The last thing you want to do is get a bite on your line and have your wheel lock upon you. Also, you may want to invest in line conditioners to thwart it from freezing in the water.

Take Breaks on Land if Necessary

Although it may be inconvenient to pack up and get out of the water, you need to know when to call it a day. It's unfortunate to cut a trip short, but you also don't want to tempt fate and stay in the water when it's a winter wonderland. If things plan on clearing out quickly, take the extra time and enjoy the heat before returning. A swift 30-minute break can recharge the batteries of a six-hour trip.

Learn Survival Skills

Knowing how to make a fire with materials that Mother Nature leaves you is a critical skill any outdoors person must learn. Of course, this isn't a task you necessarily want to do, seeing as it's only vital for a dire situation. But you never know when the worst-case scenario becomes a reality, putting you in a pickle. If you can't rub two sticks together and create a spark, bring a lighter along for your convenience.

Have Hot Drinks & Food

You need to have nourishment when in the water, especially if you plan on going for the entire six-hour window. Rather than bringing along cold brews and food, opt for warm cuisine that raises your body temperature. Pouring some piping hot soup in an insulated thermos with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate keeps you invigorated.

Never Go Alone

The perks of independence are wonderful. However, you never want to fish by yourself in inclement weather conditions. You never know when you might slide on ice, leaving you incapacitated with no one there to help you. A companion ensures the safety of both of you if anything unforeseen happens.

Final Thoughts

There are so many items you need to consider on how to stay safe while fishing in the winter. Ergo, let's go over some quick thoughts and wrap this thing up:

  • Leave a float plan – This lets your family and authorities know precisely where you'll be.
  • Pack and wear lifejackets – You should always wear your life preserver over your coat. It's not only for your safety, but it's against the law in most states.

You’ll also want to have a power source. Bringing a lighter and a waterproof power station provides you with an energy supply if you are in a sticky situation.

This is a lot to digest and take in, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. Bixby is full of essential tools for your fishing adventures, so check out the selection today!

How To Stay Safe While Fishing in the Winter