Benefits To Fishing In Cooler Weather
We all love fishing the warm summer months of the Coastal Carolinas. That’s largely because inshore fishing is great thanks to the more aggressive feeding habits of the fish as well as plenty of bait in the water. However, as it does every year about this time, colder weather arrives. That means the bait goes away and the fishing slows. While winter will always come and go, there’s really no reason to hang up the old rod and reel till warmer weather comes back in the spring. There are many reasons that the winter months can be productive and enjoyable when it comes to inshore fishing, and you look past the chill in the air and think of those reasons. Here’s a few we came up with.
- Less traffic on the water. It’s easier to work the structures and creeks without the constant rock and roll of passing boating traffic. With less boats there’s less noise and less spooking the fish. Nothing is better than fishing a quiet creek without the noise of other boats, jet skis and the other summertime disruption.
- Easier access to the water. The boat ramps and access points are less crowded and no long lines or fist fights at the ramps. You can actually park close to the ramp itself rather than the Walmart parking lot in the next town. The same is reverse when you return. No waiting while the guy with the new boat takes 23 tries to back in straight and his wife watches in total frustration.
- Better water clarity. With the clear water, its easy to see the fish moving. It’s a great time to look for fishing spots thanks to clear conditions. This is a tactic that Captain Lee Parsons of Topsail Island, North Carolina uses. On those colder winter months, he scouts out spots were the fish are holed up. Even though they may not bite then, he knows they’ll be there in the warmer months. Then he marks it on his GPS or makes notes. This is part of what makes a good fisherman great….preparation.
- Less pressure on the fishery. With the fishing crowd much smaller, that can only mean there is less pressure on the fish that may be feeding in the area. While many species may migrate away for the winter others still hang around, thus you have less fishing competition. Just remember, the fish are there. It’s their metabolism that has slowed and that results in the slower fishing.
- Less bait to compete with. Again, it’s a given that fishing in the cooler months is slower, but less bait is a way that somewhat works towards leveling the fishing playing field. Remember that the fish are still biting, only slower and more inconsistently. Presenting a great looking plastic option may be all it takes. With the growing use of plastics this can be a game changer. However, make sure you choose a lure that is right for clearer water.
- Cooler Water. While cooler water is usually not a good environment when it comes to inshore fishing, there are benefits. Species like Stripers like the cooler water. The winter months are prime Striper fishing times in many of the rivers in the Carolinas. The Redfish don’t mind the cooler water to a point and can still bite well. Redfish can many times be found in large schools chasing migrating bait up the beach on those cooler and even cold days. Speckled Trout also like the cooler water as long as the salinity stays in their range.
- No interference by trash fish. It’s a time of year that you’re free of pinfish and all the other little irritating finned friends that interrupt your fishing.
- It’s just more comfortable on most days. Once the summer heat gets here there’s rarely a break in the heat. When fishing in the winter, just take a heavier coat and thick socks and a spare pair in the event the first pair get wet. Also….No Bugs! This means no slapping a flapping at no-see-ums and mosquitos.
So, go ahead and grab your jacket and warm hat and take off for a great day of fishing. Take a jug of hot coffee and head out there. It’s the cure for cabin fever and binge watching TV. Those Speckled Trout, Redfish and Strippers are out there and they’re mocking you right know. They believe you’re not man or woman enough to take a little cool weather. So, show them who’s boss.