Winter lake fishing

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Nol, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Messages:
    24,667
    Likes Received:
    3,504
    Location:
    Dillon, Mt
    This is what winter fishing in Montana looks like. Except they have heated shanties out on the lakes along with all the cars and SUV's.

    Ice stays on the lakes and res's pretty long here.

    Jim
     
  2. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Messages:
    5,959
    Likes Received:
    738
    Location:
    Cranberry Country...a glorified coastal swamp!
    I'm talking winter... cold days. A cold beer on a frigid day doesn't do it for me, and I never take hard liquor with me fishing anymore, let alone boating. Spring summer, and fall, if i'm going to be on a lake in my squanoe for the good part of the day, I'll usually have a couple of beers along.
    Besides, my wang has its own central heating!:cool:
     
  3. sharpshooter223

    sharpshooter223 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    richland/pullman, wa
    ok, what temp would be about the line where the fish go deeper
     
  4. BFK

    BFK Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Sound, Wash.
    This may not apply to your lakes, but when I used to fish Lake Roosevelt during the winter, the trout were mostly up in the water column. I would be fishing in the upper 10 feet or so, and it wasn't unusual to see dimples or swirls where the trout were hitting or taking daphnia.

    As far as temps go, we occasionally fished in water that was forming slush ice, which is right about 31 degrees, or at least that's what the temp gauge was saying. I recall that it's 34 degrees where water becomes heaviest and sinks, and the lakes become homogenous as far as temps go. I certainly caught a lot of trout on both sides of that temperature near the surface.

    But if I were to take a guess, I'd say that 34 degrees and lower is where you'll find the fish at all depths, living in the warmest water. Then as the lakes cool even more, the surface ices over and the temperature stabilizes. Doing the ice fishing thing for trout, I found that fish would be moving by at all depths at any given time--anywhere from the surface to the bottom.
     
  5. uncledave

    uncledave corkie stare blind

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Anacortes,Wa.
    I believe the magic temp is more like 41 degrees
     
  6. Gary Thompson

    Gary Thompson dirty dog

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Messages:
    3,953
    Likes Received:
    162
    Location:
    East Wenatchee, WA
    It's all about water temp not air temp.
    Find the right water temp and fish on.
     
  7. Stefan Elliott

    Stefan Elliott New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    renton
    Trout like the cold and prowl the shallows in the winter
     
  8. Keith Hixson

    Keith Hixson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,528
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    College Place, Washington
    Is jigging through the ice with a weighted wooley bugger and using a fly rod, FLY FISHING? :hmmm:

    Keith
     
  9. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,086
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    509
    can anyone give me some tips on taking water temps. i was thinking just tieing a thermometer onto a a line that changes color every ten feet, adding a weight, and hanging that off the side of my tube.

    what im curious about is what thermometer to use and how long to keep it down to be accurate. thanks
     
  10. sharpshooter223

    sharpshooter223 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    richland/pullman, wa
    they sell aquarium thermometers at pet stores, might work. i was thinking of just tying a knot or making a mark every 5 feet.
     
  11. Islander

    Islander Steve

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Messages:
    2,241
    Likes Received:
    233
    Location:
    Langley, Wa..
    I have one left over from my bass fishing days. It's a probe on a cord that is marked every 5'. You hold the readout in your hand and lower the probe into the water. They probably still sell them at Bass Pro Shop or Cabelas.
     
  12. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Messages:
    5,959
    Likes Received:
    738
    Location:
    Cranberry Country...a glorified coastal swamp!

    Yes, but only if you stand back from the hole and cast your weighted bugger into it.:p:rofl::clown::beer2:
     
  13. Keith Hixson

    Keith Hixson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,528
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    College Place, Washington
    This is true story and no exaggeration, however no one believes us, but it is the truth. When I was living in Newport, WA my buddy Nick and I decided to go fish a little lake on private property up in the Selkirks. The owner of the land was a friend of ours. When we got to the lake we found it still covered with Ice. However the ice was sloppy and very, very thin. Nick looked in his fishing tackle and found a crappy jig, tied it on and tossed it high in the air and it went right through the ice. Immediately he had a fish on. I tied on a jig but it was slightly smaller and black and it didn't have enough weight to punch through the water. I started dragging it back over the the ice and a fat little 10 or 12 inch brookie broke throught the ice ate it. Fish on. We switched to some size 10 wooley buggers and and started dragging them across the soft slushy ice. Almost ever cast we had a fish on. A day ealier the ice would have been too thick for the fish to punch through, a day later most of the ice would have been gone.

    Now the question is: Were we fly fishing? We certainly were casting and retrieving a fly.

    Keith

     
  14. mstrofsinanju

    mstrofsinanju {Fly fishing} = Time well spent

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Everett,WA
    Cabela's sells a depth computer that goes on the end of a line. You drop it to the bottom slowly and as it drops it records temp@depth info. It is kind of spendy for a gadget, i think it was about $40.00? it was a while ago that I bought it.

    good luck!
     
  15. tkww

    tkww Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Messages:
    634
    Likes Received:
    165
    Location:
    WA
    Water is most dense at 39 F/4 C. If there's actually slush in the water, it's probably a lot closer to 32 than it is to 39.

    That depth computer sound nice, bu spendy.