The days are shorter, temperature colder and by some fishing is deemed impossible during the winter season as we withdraw into our homes to keep nice and warm. However, with a little preparation and planning beforehand, did you know a good day’s finishing can still be had in the coldest of winter days?
Is Fishing Legal in lockdown 2?
The big question we’ve all be searching the internet for! Well, look no further as we can confirm ‘yes you can!’. Latest Government advice confirms it is possible to continue your fishing hobby during the second lockdown in England – but there are some restrictions to be aware of.
Angling qualifies as a form of ‘outdoor recreation’ and is therefore allowed, as confirmed by the The Angling Trust. However, the new regulations do state that you must only fish with other members of your household, support bubble, or with one other person from outside your household. Competitive fishing, club outings or amateur sporting activities are not allowed during the second lockdown wave. If you are going to get outdoors and embrace the colder weather, it is also advised that you are mindful of where you plan to do it, given the restrictions of travel. What’s more, the Angling Trust website, based on the latest Government advice, states that if you are going to embark on a fishing trip you can travel to go fishing but it’s important to avoid travelling long distances to do so – as well as reminding people that they should not leave their house to fish if they show any symptoms of Covid-19.
What are the perks of fishing in the winter?
Cold is no excuse or reason to put your fishing gear to bed – and any serious angler should give winter fishing a try! In fact, there are many perks and advantages to fishing in the winter months – and here’s why:
The biggest and most obvious reason to fish in the winter! Competition reduces your chances of that catch success but during the winter and fewer people fishing, you have the sport pretty much all to yourself helping you to land that large catch automatically. Winning!
Fishing in the winter has many charms but it also requires you to embrace a new and different strategy. Although the sessions are slower paced as fish tend to have less energy in winter, it doesn’t mean you won’t land a bite! It’s time to change your technique and take on a new and exciting challenge. It’s true what they say, there is no better feeling of catching a large perch and cooking it over a hot stove in winter months, despite the hard work of confronting the cold.
Quality Over Quantity.
Whilst it can be harder to hook a fish in the winter, the chances of you capturing a big prize is far greater! As mentioned, competition is less but once you do land a bite, the catch is almost a given as the fish has less fighting power in the winter. Although many species shut down in the colder months, you stand a strong chance of hooking Northern Pike, channel catfish, Perch and more – that would otherwise be more difficult to catch in the warmer months.
How do you prep your fishing equipment for winter?
Preparation is key and it’s important to make sure you keep your fishing equipment safe from the harsher winter elements.
We all know how dirty our reels can get after a day out fishing, in particular during the winter months. Whether it be soil, sand, bait, residues, salt or water, all components can cause serious damage to our equipment if they aren’t cleaned and maintained. That said, it’s important that thorough maintenance is carried out – both routine upkeep after your fishing trip and an extra deep clean when necessary.
Firstly, it’s important to understand the difference between the causes of wear and tear in reels used for freshwater fishing and those used for saltwater fishing. Saltwater fishing reels will experience more wear and tear than freshwater reels due to saline residues so they will need to be maintained and cleaned with more care. If you have a high quality complex fishing reel you must take care when disassembling to not cause any damage.
Our top tip is to use WD-40 Specialist High-Performance Silicone Lubricant to help ensure the perfect movement of the parts within your reel. Not only does it provide the ultimate lubrication solution, drives moisture from fishing gear, lures, hooks and tackle, it protects fishing gear from rust and corrosion after quickly drying. The specialist and renowned fast-acting formula is compatible with all metals, plastics, rubber and wood. Find our step by step guide to cleaning your fishing reel here.
What is the best bait for winter fishing?
The best bait for winter fishing – that’s the real question. Choosing the best winter fishing lures can be tough, but we have some suggestions to boost your chances of success.
Opt for live bait such as minnows or live worms. As the fish are moving slower in the cold water, artificial bait that moves too fast may turn them away. It’s also important to ensure you bait is highly visible using vivid colours as it can be spotted easily and therefore most likely to attract the attention of feeding (and non-feeding) fish. Chrome or gold also can work well too.
If you do decide to go for artificial bait, we recommend those with feathers as they work well in the colder water conditions. This type helps the bait to move quickly and more naturally without the need of too much movement from you, the angler.
One further tactic is to use a smaller sized lure. Fish do not need to feed as often during the colder seasons, and they find smaller prey easier to digest and catch. Therefore, if you present them with something small and slow, you’re mirroring their natural feeding preferences during winter.
So, there you have it – you’ll be a pro winter angler in next to no time! Make sure you get out and enjoy the outdoors by fishing, even in the cold! Now you know how to keep your fishing equipment protected from harsher conditions and working smoothly, there’s nothing stopping you from making a catch! Did you know that WD-40 can be used to help inflate a bike tyre and water proof your running shoes so you can keep active over lockdown? Browse our blog for more WD-40 Uses and DIY tips.