"COLD WEATHER FISHING"
We have had enough of our winters, some winters have not been the coldest winter or maybe not that much snow here, but lots of wind, a couple warm ups then back to freezing temperatures followed by snow and another nice warm up with rain than with freezing rain and back to cold again. Much of these changing conditions have been uncomfortable for most of us, but fish are still in the lakes and maybe not as uncomfortable as we are. Fish will spend much of the winter in deeper water and still eating to make it through winter. Being cold blooded, they will slow down during cold water periods which means a slower presentation is essential.
We are blessed with several winter fishing opportunities in Illinois with all the great lakes in southern Illinois, the power plant lakes, all the rivers for those mild days and a chance to Ice fish in northern half of the state. Later in February or next month finding shore areas to fish or fishing off docks can be a good option and is better than not fishing. For Central Illinois, we are fortunate to have Powerton Lake that remains open for most of the winter for shore fishing and reopens to boat fishing on February 15th along with Clinton and Sangchris Lakes just over an hour away.
It helps to know where brushpiles are in a lake so you are not spending lots of fishing time searching. Therefore, another great winter activity to help guarantee a fishing spot is to place your own brush or fish attractors. Good spots would be at different locations and depths along or off points, along breaks and along creek channels. An awesome product is the Porcupine Fish Attractor that is designed to attract fish without hanging hooks or lures. We have experience with many types of attractors from trees, cribs, pallets, brush or other PVC items and find the porcupine type to be the easiest to use and great for fishing in. Remember to get permission to place these in a lake and select spots at various depths to cover all seasons of fishing.
Winter fishing can be a good chance to catch the bigger fish, dress warm, remember they are deeper, look for shad or baitfish and if one species of fish is not biting, target another species. Fish SLOW along main lake points or breaks near deep water and try downsizing. Wind has been a problem this winter so look for areas out of the wind or find protection with windbreaks. And if you plan to hit the river for those sauger, look for bends or those current seams where flowing water is blocked or diverted.
Advantages of cold weather fishing are fewer anglers are out and once you figure out the right pattern it will remain more consistent during this time. If you fish power plant lakes, the colder it is the better the fishing in the discharge areas.
Bottom line, even if you really, really want to fish, there are times in bad weather when it is best to stay off the lake and maybe take in one of the great fishing shows in your area.
This time of year can produce some nice fish as they start to feed up so donít let cold temps keep you from fishing while others are sitting in front of the TV or PC, just dress warm and fish Slow or find other ways to support your passion for fishing while waiting for warmer weather.
The winter has us thinking of spring or maybe hitting the warm waters of power plant lakes later this month. However, many have so far kept busy with fishing shows and there are several throughout state (check our site for listings) a great way to start the season and is packed with a variety of fishing vendors, resorts, seminars, raffles, fun for the kids and is worth the trip.
Visit our site for all the fishing news, events, other fishing related materials including a full listing of remaining Fishing & Sport Shows at www.larrysfishinghole.com
Till Next Time, GOD BLESS & GOOD FISHING !