6 Strategies for Successful Winter Fishing 

As winter approaches and the temperatures drop, you may be tempted to pack up your tackle boxes until next spring. However, fishing during the winter can be just as great as fishing during the summer.  

Winter is a particularly great time to fish because freshwater species group up, meaning more fish to attract to your line. However, winter fishing takes some preparation to be successful. Keep reading for six fishing strategies for successful winter fishing.  

One of the most important tips for winter fishing is be patient and prepared! 

Find the perfect fishing boat.

If you’re an avid angler, then you know that having the right boat is vital to a succeful fishing experience, especially during the winter.   

There are many different types of fishing boats on the market, and deciding which one is right for you can be challenging. You need to consider some key factors when choosing a fishing boat.  

  • Do your research! There are so many types of fishing boats, explore them all. 
  • Think about your lifestyle and how you plan to use the boat. 
  • Narrow down your list of potentials, and weigh the pros and cons of each type.  
  • Consider features you’ll need and the features you want – rod holders, built in coolers, baitwells, seating, outriggers, casting deck, etc.  

After thoroughly researching and weighing all your options, contact Boats for Sale; we can help you decide on the right fishing boat for your lifestyle and how to make that dream a reality. 

Invest in quality gear.

Winter is tough on your fishing gear, so be sure to maintain your reels, rods, line, and tackle box contents.   

Cold temperatures will freeze your reels’ bearings and thicken old oil and grease. In addition, be sure to inspect your line. Water can collect in a rod or on the line and the guide will freeze, eventually preventing the line from moving. Utilize line conditioner to keep your line tangle-free.

Beyond a freshly maintained reel and good line, remember to keep yourself warm. Look for waterproof boots or shoes and a pair of quality gloves to keep your fingers warm. Wear layers and invest in some long underwear for extra warmth, as well as thick socks, and a warm hat.  


It’s all about location.

Location matters!

As during any fishing season, picking the perfect location to cast your line is crucial. If you need to find out where the hot fishing spots are during winter, check out the Department of Natural Resources website in your state. They have the up-to-date details on what fish are in which bodies of water, what time of year offers the best catch, any limits you’ll need to heed, and more. 


Watch the weather.

While you may be tempted to follow your regular warmer month fishing schedule, fishing during the winter is a little more unpredictable. 

Because the tempuratures impact fish activity levels, some of the best conditions for fishing depend on the next cold front. Fish feed just before passing these, so if you can be out on the water just before the front passes, you’ll catch a lot of fish.


Choose the best bait.

If you typically use lures during the spring and summer, you’ll need help catching fish in the cold.   

When the weather becomes frigid, fish and their live food sources move slowly. Because of this, live bait is much more effective in the winter than lures. Lures will move too quickly through the water, which will scare fish away. Live bait will react to cold water naturally and entice hungry fish.  



Play it safe!

It’s essential to take safety into account when fishing in the winter. 

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, January and February are the months with the most significant boating fatalities, so play it safe!  

  • Only fish with others during the cold season, even if you’re a expert.  
  • Leave a float plan with family or friends.   
  • Ensure each person abord your boat has a lifejacket and are wearing it over their coats.   
  • And finally, remember the food and warm drinks.  




Fishing through the winter can be very rewarding for many reasons, so while in some parts of the country, it may be chilly, it’s worth it. During the chilliest months of the year, preparation, research, and the proper tackle can make for memorable fishing experiences. 

If you are ready for a fishing boat that take you through the seasons with ease, let Boats for sale help! Start with our our financing options.