When the weather turns cold, trout fishing can become much more difficult in most area’s of the country. As the air temperature drops, so does the water temperature. And as the water temperature drops, so does the body temperature of the fish that swim in said water. When the trout’s body temperature drops, they become much less active. This is especially true in river and stream situations, where the trout have to expend energy just to stay in one place.
When the trout are expending energy, just to keep from being swept downstream, and their metabolism is slow because of the water temperature, it means that catching them can be very difficult. A good rule of thumb for cold weather trout fishing is to use baits and lures that are really small or really large. The bottom line is that trout eat much less when their metabolism is slow, so when they feed they want it to be easy to get. They don’t want to expend much energy.
This is why when ice fishing for trout, you don’t move your rod tip very much. The trout will get scared off by something moving around too much. They know that the water’s too cold for much activity. Cold weather trout fishing can be a real challenge. Remember to downsize your baits and/or lures as much as possible, and don’t expect many voracious hits. The trout just aren’t active enough.
During cold weather when the trout’s metabolism is slow it’s a great idea to be fishing at the most opportune times. What do I mean by this? Simple. The weather and moon play a huge role in the activity level of fish, and during these times when the temperature isn’t cooperating, you need to make sure the weather and moon are working for your, rather than against you. There are some simple rules that anyone can learn that will have you fishing when the weather and moon are in you favor, rather than working against you.
The other big thing to remember when you’re doing some cold weather trout fishing are your hands. Your hands can be the difference between fishing and not fishing, because as you probably know, once your hands get cold the game is over. This is why a good pair of fingerless gloves is so important. If you’re anything like me and need your fingers free when trout fishing, quality fingerless gloves are of the utmost importance. Keep your hands warm and cold weather trout fishing is that much more fun.
The bottom line is that trout can be caught in cold weather, it’s simply that you have to vary your techniques a little bit. That and make sure that the weather and moon are in your favor. Everything that you can do to tip the scale into your favor needs to be done, especially in cold weather situations. Remember what Steven Wright said of us anglers, “There’s a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.” I think no truer words have ever been spoken.