Most anglers are hesitant to fish during the cold season because they think that the last two months of winter are too frigid to catch fish, but it is the best time to find many kinds of fish, as well as the biggest fish in the lake. Winter is the time of year when most freshwater fish is abundant, allowing cold-weather anglers to catch more fish. If cold doesn’t bother you anyway and you are hoping to get more bites, you should consider these top 7 fishing hacks.
1. Pick the Perfect Spot
The first step to consider when you go for a winter fishing in Branson, no matter what kind of fish you are trying to catch, is to know where to go. You can search on the internet where to find fishing spots in the area where you want to fish. Wildlife and Fisheries or Department of Natural Resources have websites where you can get information about local lakes, and you can find detail about what types of fish they have to offer and the best time to fish for certain species.
Avoid catching fish on lakes where its waters have overflow conditions as it will limit your chances, especially during the cold months. Not only will you experience difficulty catching fish, but elevated currents can also be dangerous. Fish only on lakes and rivers that are in reasonable water level condition and have a stable flow. Check the website of the marinas near you, where you can find up-to-date reports on which species are biting the best. They can help you save more hours of fruitless effort.
2. Find the Right Time to Go
Most of us can easily plan fishing during weekends, but the weather is another thing to consider. The weather forecast will tell you when you can go fishing. Weather fronts can affect the activity level of all freshwater species. Fish is generally more active before a front and less active after it. Whenever possible, plan your fishing trip before the passing of a cold front.
During the winter season, the best times to catch fish are typically between 10 am and 4 pm. That’s not to say you can’t get a bite at dusk and daybreak– Fish are just fewer during this time. Take advantage of sleeping and enjoy a more comfortable fishing experience during warmer time.
3. Gather Your Equipment
In general, fishing during the cold months can put extra strain on your fishing equipment. After you have identified the place to go fishing, make sure that all your gear is in good condition. Check the reels if they are in good working order. A noisy spindle bearing or stiff under warmer conditions will ultimately fall when it is cold. Old oil and grease will thicken, making reels challenging to use. To prevent this from happening, clean and lubricate your reels. That way, you’ll be able to land it when you hook the perfect fish.
Cold weather conditions will make monofilament and fluorocarbon lines challenging to manage. Use a line conditioner such as KVD Line and Lure, Bass Pro, Ardent, or Reel Magic, it will keep the line supple and prevent line twist, and it will help reduce backlashes and tangles. To prevent water from freezing on rod guides, use this same conditioner. Water from the fishing line collects in the guides of a rod and, if it becomes too cold, it will freeze and eventually stop the line from passing through the eyelet.
4. Choose the Best Bait
Choosing the best bait can be very difficult in the winter months; however, there are a few tips that can significantly improve success. Live bait is one of the top baits to choose as it will react to the water naturally. Typically, anglers efficiently use artificial lures for cold weather conditions. The cold water slows down the metabolisms of forage and predators, making them move slowly. A bait that moves unnaturally quickly will turn fish away. Most anglers can’t fish slowly with artificial lures to accurately mimic the speed and movements of forage during cold temperatures. Live bait will be more enticing. Minnows or shiners are great choices too; so are live worms.
5. Watch the weather
The most important thing for you to avoid is when you are caught amid unbearable freezing temperatures or caught in a blizzard. To prevent this from happening, you must watch the weather every hour to avoid hazardous weather conditions and for you to find out which conditions will be to your advantage. Like for example, fish are generally more active before the cold front rather than after it, so if you plan your fishing trip according to these measures, then you’ve just found a way how you can get a good catch.
6. Make sure your equipment is in excellent condition
With your equipment that has been put to task during the summer months, it can get much strain if you fish during harsh and freezing weather conditions. So, before you go for a winter fishing in Branson, it will be a good idea that you huddle indoors for some time – so that you can put a good few hours into maintaining your tackle and making sure that it can live up to the extremities of the harsh climate. Start by making sure you condition your lines using a quality line conditioner. It will prevent line twists, tangles, and backlashes. Check and clean also your fishing bobbers and fishing pliers as well.
7. Stay Safe Winter Fishing
The most important tip for winter fishing in Branson is to be mindful of the weather and respect the conditions. Always dress in layers, adequately prepared for the trip, and tell someone your itinerary. Because if you run into trouble, there should have somebody that knows your whereabouts. By notifying your location, expected travel route, and expected return time will help speed up the search process should there be an accident.
By knowing these top 7 winter fishing hacks, you can get more bites, and you can have the most successful winter fishing in Branson.