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cold weather tactics

1579 Views 14 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Lure Dragger
Since it is so cold outside the fishing has seemed to slow down a bit (maybe I'm just in a slump)but does any one out there have any cold weather tips or tactics that they wouldn't mind sharing. One thing that I've noticed is that when it is cold like it is the steelhead seem to move to the deepest slowest water they can find.
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My best tactic...Bring along extra coffee and the 2 1/2 gal propane w/MR. heater! If I'm gonna get skunked, I'm gonna be warm and skunked! :grin:
Twitch's Hit the nail right on the head.

AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :cheers:
Sometimes we have more luck by slowing down our presentations. Whether it's adding more weight to the drift, or backing the plugs or baits down at a slower pace. Fish this time of year can be lethargic, so it may take a few extra drifts or passes to nail that chromer.

Another tactic that has been published in STS extensively is the use of spoons. Bill Herzog appears to be the king of cold water steel hooked on bent metal. A good read for sure.

A third idea might be to try and upsize your corky,plugs etc.... The larger the lure or bait, the more of an annoying presence it creates to the fish. Some also might say: Big Lure= Big Fish.

Tight lines,
Chris :cool:
I agree with FWF1... for quite a few years some buddies and I have fished north of the border in the winter. Cold weather tactics are a must for sure. The pen-tac/mor-tac silver plated spoons in the heaviest size available really do the trick.It does take a little practice to fish em right... make sure you fish em slow and low to the bottom and have enough with you so you don't go into scarcity mentallity! If you're not ticking bottom and losing a few now and then you're not fishing them at 100% effectiveness.
The water is usually hovering in the high 30's range. Herzogs book on spoon fishing is real good. If you want to read a book that is incredible go out right now and buy "spinner fishing for steelhead, salmon and trout" by Jed Davis.Even if you don't fish spinners this book will flat out make you a better fisherman even if your already doing great.
Go to the slower deeper holes.
Use baits and scents and slow down your presentation. The fish dont always hold in the deepest holes. Ive hit quite a few fish in this cold spell in water 2 and 1/2 deep and shallower. They were tucked in tight behind rocks that break the current.

If you are primarly a corky/yarn type of guy add something that uses more of the fish's senses besides sight. Use either GOOD eggs like Ammerman's cured for steelhead or some good scent like Marie's Shrimp.

Good luck and stay warm.
Hardware - spinners, spoons, plugs.

Chris don't take this the wrong way....... :cheers:

I have found that when the water is low and clear and cold , I size down my plugs and slow down the boat. In really cold water sometimes a rattle works well. A prime example was yesterday I pulled some of my top producing tadpollies thru a drift that I knew had fish in it. I went thru twice with nada. I had taken 7 fish on them in this slot during the prior 5 days . I swithched to small #30 quiet hotshots and in 3 passes hooked 3 fish. The next run we got a double and so on. I switched back to Tadpollies and didn't get bit, switched back to hotshots and got nailed several times again. A few of us think that unlike in warmer water, the fish is not trying to eat the plug, instead they are trying to remove it from their space, a lot of times they hit the plug on top or from the side. We had 4 rods bury and came up empty. when examining the plug it had either no teeth marks or they were on the bill of the plug. This has been an evolutionary science for me. It seems to have a consistent pattern (according to my log). I have had great tudors ( some of the best ) and its the little things that make a difference. Thats just my opinion.
Hope that helped.

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Actually I completely agree :cheers: for the cold,low and clear scenario you described.

I guess I was posting more towards the flowing nice, perfect color, but just cold water scenario.

Glad you're still finding some fish. Don't forget to "wave" next time you see me coming around the corner :wink: .

Tight lines bro,
Chris :cool:
I can be as warm as I want, in my Exotherms, and it doesn't seem to bother me. But when my casting thumb gets cold, I'm done.

That is SO frustrating. I can't feel the line tension at all! I can't feel the bite! I give!

If you wear gloves, same thing, can't feel, and when I steelhead fish, I need to feel!

Anyone have a solution for THAT?

Sure, put away the casting rod and put out a plug. Grab a warm beverage of choice and let the person rowing the boat do the hard work. That way you both get warmed up. :wink:
Fishin has been just as good for me with teh colder weath
:whazzup: er??
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Originally posted by billy tillamook:
The pen-tac/mor-tac silver plated spoons in the heaviest size available really do the trick.It does take a little practice to fish em right... make sure you fish em slow and low to the bottom and have enough with you so you don't go into scarcity mentallity!
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">http://mortac.com/

Which model?

Most definately the slower the better. Fishing deeper isn't necessarily the answer though. I have been doing really well above McNary. A lot of the fish there are staying up close to the top. I think the key is to pull your plug as slow as you possibly can, so that you can hardly see that your lure is even working.
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