Now, at least for my feeling, the winters are not as hard as they used to be for a long time, but fishing in winter is not necessarily something for everyone. The wet and cold weather doesn’t really lure anyone out of the living room and the early darkness doesn’t make it any better. In my case in Baden-Württemberg the winter also means early packing up, because fishing is only allowed here from 1 hour before to 1 hour after sunset. That shortens the possible fishing time enormously.
Winter has one advantage, however, because now you often have peace and quiet on the water and are often alone, even on weekends. But which fish actually still bite in winter? In the Blinker issue (01/2018) there is a table with the catch reports for important angler fish throughout the year and it reads from this that much less is caught in winter. In my opinion this is largely due to the fact that fewer anglers go out. Because in some top spots you can still make good catches in winter.
Trout are less bothered by the cold water, but they have a closed season in all federal states. Fish are equally warm (Poikilotherm) with a few exceptions, such as tuna and some sharks. Their whole metabolism is down together with the low temperatures and they need less food. Therefore the feeding times are shorter and if you feed, you should do it more economically.
Winter fishing spots here is still a success:
Generally good spots are everywhere where it is a little warmer. It is now worthwhile to sound out your waters with a thermometer. Top spots for fishing in winter are the following:
- Power station outlets – here warm cooling water gets into rivers and the fish literally gather here – one of the best places to fish in winter.
- In general the fish are now in deep places – the bait should be set deep, especially in lakes. There the water is always at least 4 °C
- Reverse currents are actually always good. But especially in the cold, because in the quiet deep areas and rinsed holes the fish
- Even at locks it is usually deep – a top spot in winter
Wintertime is burbot time
A predator fish doesn’t mind that it is cold. The burbot only becomes really active in winter. It is at home in the Oder, or in the pre-alpine lakes, such as Lake Constance, and is caught with a simple basic assembly with thaw worm or fish shreds. Vertical jigging from the boat is also promising, for this purpose mini-pilkers are taken and a thaw worm or fish shred is lured to the triplet. This is also how the Swiss and Austrians catch their “freshwater cod”. For burbot, deep places or river inlets are worthwhile.
Alternatively, on rivers a normal basic assembly with one or two thaw worms on the current edge is good for catching burbot.
Fish that still bite well in winter
Although the cycle of fish is down, they will all eat at some point. If you are fishing for fish that are at peace, you should now feed much less. 1/10 of what is fed in summer is still enough. Otherwise the fish are soon full. With the attracting-feed the following is to be considered: Fishy flavours spread very well in the water even at low temperatures and are therefore preferable to sweet flavours.
Except for the burbot mentioned above, the following fish still bite well in winter
- Perch (the classic Mormyshka ice-fishing lures are the best)
- Salmonids (pay attention to closed seasons!
- Whitefish (whitefish) are also typical winter fish
- Catfish – it is an absolute rumor that they only bite so well in summer evenings and at night they are also catchable in winter especially the larger specimens
Another small tip on the line. In sub-zero temperatures ice can form in the rod rings and this is deadly for braided lines. A monofilament line is clearly advantageous here. Rods with microguides (very small rod rings) stay at home.
Biting times – the whole year on fish
My tips for the winter
To keep the fit comfortable in cold weather, it is important to dress properly. The onion principle with many layers of clothing is proven and you don’t need super expensive outdoor clothing. Otherwise, in winter I always take a thermos with hot tea or a thin soup to the water. After 2-3 hours in the cold I am always very grateful for that. But here are a few more tips for winter fishing:
- Use smaller baits when sitting on a hide for game fish – the fish have less appetite now.
- Sea fish are now particularly effective baits for pike. These may then also turn out large.
- Don’t forget your headlamp, because it gets dark early.
- If possible, prepare for assembly at home in the warmth. At the water with gloves or cold fingers it is difficult to tie up.
- If possible, ask your fishing colleagues if the water is frozen over before you go a long way to the fishing water. In this case it is always good to have a plan B.
- The fish are now moving around less, the right choice of fishing spot is now even more important.
What is your experience of fishing in winter or do you have any other tips? Write me a comment. I am happy!