Cool Water Fishing in Spring

Cool Water Fishing in Spring

In many parts of North America, spring still exists on a calendar, although it may not yet have started showing through piles of ice and snow. The turn of the winter season is upon us, and whether you live in a sunny, warm area or the deeply-chilled Northern latitudes, spring will be welcome. One excellent activity for spring is cool water fishing. One faces the challenge of making warm water fish strike despite winter level body temperatures and metabolism.

The Cool Water Challenge

Fishing can be a series of challenges; except for the Asian Carp, fish don’t jump into the boat. One has to stir them to activity in the cool water months. Early spring is an excellent time to sharpen or gain skills for fishing in cool conditions that will also occur periodically in summer and frequently late fall. Baits and lures that work well in warm water may not work nearly as well in cold conditions. Anglers can use size and technique in cool water conditions to get strikes and both from cool water species and the slow-moving warm water fish.

Downsized and Slow

For cool water fishing and cold water species, the key is downsizing. Hard baits like minnows and jerk baits work well when small and moved slowly. Spoons and spinner baits are excellent choices, and one can rig them to go deep in the sparse spring vegetation. Anglers can bump jerk baits and spinners off structures to incite strikes. The size and presentation are important.

Know the Conditions and Species

The cool water is often clear, and the bottom contains few weeds and plants. It is the pre-spawn or early spawn for many species like Perch, Walleye, and the Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass. Some species adapt well to cool water conditions, and this includes Salmon and Trout. Trout prefer cool water, and it is warm water that leaves them lethargic and less responsive.

Pattern Lures for Cool Water

Clear water with little foliage offers tremendous advantages. One can fish close to bottoms, in shallow water, and have clear views of submerged structures. Cool water means fishing in shallows since fish will try to find warmer water, and they tend to leave the colder deep areas. Lures can be subtle; in cool, clear water conditions there is no need to use bright colors, the subtle colors work fine. Smaller versions of favorite warm water lures will work best in cold and cool waters. Small minnows, spinners, and strip-on lures can get strikes when moved slowly and with a subtle swim motion. The idea is to present an enticing and slow moving target. It is more difficult to get cool water strikes from warm water fish with large, active lures. Trout and cold water species will also react to small slow moving baits. For Trout, a small bladed spinner can work wonders. Small baits are excellent for Trout that, while active, have small bites.

Yellow Bird Products
1803 Holian Drive
Spring Grove, IL 60081

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