Who Else Likes Winter and Cold-Water Fishing?
I do. I go on Facebook now and then and there are always people knocking winter and wanting it to get warm. I have one question for them: why?
Winter brings a clean crispy smell to the air. Living out here I see wood-burning fire places and heaters are used by a lot of people. Wood smoke smells so good and standing or sitting in front of a fire is pretty close to as good as it can get. Now another reason I like winter: it’s prime fishing time for those who are hearty enough to get on the lake.
It also lets us fishing types know we are not far from spring fishing action. Winter and early spring brings the best time of the year to catch the big fish you have been wanting.
Winter also locks the fish into predicable places. Once the lake temperature gets into the mid to low 40-degree range and below you can look for the fish to move deep where the water is warmer. They also slow up their eating. Now every fisherman has his own idea about this but for me and my fishing trips and my record keeping for many years, show winter fish will move into a spot and stay for a while.
Water 20 to 30-plus feet deep is where I start looking. The cold water also effects shad as they will also move deep. Shad addled by the cold water close to the surface fall to the bottom where Mr. Bass is holding waiting for dinner to come floating down. If you do find fish they will likely stay there till warmer temps calls them back to shallower water.
Modern advances in cold weather gear for fishing and hunting has also made it a lot more comfortable to be outdoors now on those cold winter days. Now if you have the money you can be toasty warm and able to move around easily in this new gear.
In the old days we all put on three or four or more layers of clothes and still got cold and wet as sweat stayed with you. This new clothing wicks the moisture away from your body. Fishing with all that clothing on back then wasn’t that much fun, plus having that many clothing layers made some us look like we were waddling instead of walking.
People who fished and hunted back in those days know how cold and tired we were after a hunting or fishing trip from wearing all of that stuff.
Now for the last four going on five weeks, all I’m catching are big bass. Fishing isn’t easy as in all this time the most fish I have caught at one time was three. The good thing is in that time with the two fish I caught Tuesday makes it a 20-fish total.
In that time, I haven’t had a fish in my boat weighing less than three pounds; everything else has been between three to almost eight pounds. I caught a fish last week that my son-in-law John Blasingame, owner of Adventure Texoma Outdoors Guide Service, loaned me scales to weigh it on and it was my biggest bass so far in 2018. It went 7.15 pounds. It was a largemouth.
Of those 20 fish I have caught 17 of them were smallmouth, only two Kentuckys and one largemouth were different.
My fish aren’t coming easy as I’m often fish over an hour in one place for a bite or fish, plus, I’m only fishing for four hours a trip at the most. My most productive baits have been a 1/4 oz. Blakemore Road Runner with a 3.5-inch Money minnow doused in Yum F2 shad scent. Sidenote: a Durant angler fishing with my son in law John Blasingame caught a possible new record Oklahoma striped bass it can be seen on his Facebook page Adventure Texoma Outdoors Fishing.
It measured 37 inches long and 25 inches around and when those measurements were put to a fact sheet it said it should have weighed over 28 pounds. He released it so it’s in the lake and should only get bigger. This is why I like cold weather and winter fishing so much if you catch a fish now he is going to likely be a chunk.
You also don’t have to work as hard or make as many casts, remember slow is the way to go. I can’t speak for the rest of winter fishermen but that little tic or just a heavy feeling you get will make you forget it’s cold as you work that big fish to the top.