6 Cold Weather Fishing Tips In 2023

Cold weather fishing can be a great way to get outside and enjoy the winter months. But if you’re not prepared, it can also be a recipe for disaster. From proper clothing to the right gear, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when heading out on a cold weather fishing trip. In this blog post, we’ll give you 6 cold weather fishing tips to help you make the most of your time on the water. From what to wear to how to fish in different types of weather, these tips will help you stay safe and catch fish all winter long.

Know the Conditions

Before heading out on your next cold weather fishing trip, be sure to check the forecast and plan accordingly. Dress in layers of warm clothing, including hats, gloves, and boots. Be sure to bring along hand and toe warmers to keep your extremities from getting too cold.

In addition to dressing for the cold, you'll also want to factor in wind chill when planning your trip. The wind can make it feel much colder than it actually is, so be sure to dress accordingly.

Finally, be aware of ice conditions on both the lake and shoreline. Ice can form quickly in cold weather, so always use caution when walking on or near frozen lakes and rivers.

ice fishing

Fish Where the Fish Are

The first rule of cold weather fishing is to fish where the fish are. This may seem like common sense, but it's worth repeating. Just because a body of water is frozen over doesn't mean the fish have all migrated to warmer waters. In fact, many fish prefer to stay in cold water during the winter months.

So, how do you find out where the fish are? The best way is to ask around. Talk to local fishermen, bait shops, and even the Department of Natural Resources. They will be able to tell you which lakes and rivers are currently being fished and what kind of success people are having.

Another good tip is to look for areas of open water. Even if a lake is mostly frozen over, there are likely to be areas of open water near shore where the fish will congregate. These areas can be great places to fish during the winter months.

Use the Right Bait

The type of bait you use can make a big difference in your success when cold weather fishing. Look for bait that is high in fat and protein, as these will help the fish stay warm and energized in the colder water temperatures. Minnows, nightcrawlers, and live shrimp are all good options. You may also want to consider using artificial bait, as it can be easier to keep alive in colder temperatures.

winter ice fishing

Check the Ice Thickness

Before heading out onto the ice, it is important to check the thickness to ensure that it is safe. The general rule of thumb is that ice should be at least 4 inches thick to support a person. To check the thickness, use an ice auger or an ice chisel. Drill a hole in the ice and measure the thickness with a tape measure. If the ice is less than 4 inches thick, do not go out onto it.

Fish during the Day

When the water temperature drops in the fall and winter, fish become less active. They don't move around as much and they don't feed as often. This doesn't mean that you can't catch fish during the cold months, but you will have to adjust your fishing habits. One of the best tips for cold weather fishing is to fish during the day. The sun warming the water will cause the fish to be more active than they would be at night. Another good tip is to use live bait. The movement of the bait will attract fish even when they are not actively feeding.

Be Patient

One of the most important cold weather fishing tips is to be patient. In the cold weather, fish are less active and can be harder to catch. They will often bite less, so it is important to be patient when fishing in cold weather.

This doesn’t mean you have to sit there for hours without a bite, but you may need to wait longer between bites than you would in warmer weather. It is also important to pay attention to your bait and line, as the cold can make them less effective. Make sure your bait is fresh and your line is not frayed.


The cold weather can be a great time to go fishing, as long as you take the proper precautions. By following these six tips, you'll be sure to have a successful and enjoyable cold weather fishing trip. So get your gear ready and head out on the water — you might just catch the biggest fish of the season!