Winter Trout Fishing Tips

By Andy Whitcomb

Feb 20, 2017

If you know where to look and what to cast, trout can be caught all winter. Here are three important winter trout fishing tips.

The heavily anticipated trout “season,” (generally around early spring in the northeast) is rapidly approaching. However, some anglers have enjoyed some great trout fishing all winter.

Here’s how you can catch trout in the winter:

  1. Study the fishing regulations. Trout regulations can be complicated, taking up a third of Pennsylvania’s fishing summary of regulations. With different classifications of streams, there are different regulations, sometimes even on stretches of the same stream. Within the state regulations will be a listing of places open for trout fishing in winter.
  2. Many winter trout fishing areas require lures and are designated for catch and release. Tiny jigs such as Trout Magnets on micro spinning rods are a staple here. Small spoons such as Al’s Goldfish tempt trout, even through the ice. Over Christmas break, one young local angler caught a couple of 12 inch brown trout on a Rooster tail inline spinner on one of his secret streams. Fly anglers can score with beaded nymphs which drift lower in the water column or single egg patterns.
  3. Stay safe. Cold water deserves a great deal of respect. Wear a life jacket when fishing through the ice and of course, when boating. It is also a good idea to fish with a friend, or at the very least, let someone know where you are going, when you expect to return, and carry a cell phone.

One of the great things about trout fishing in winter is that fishing pressure is reduced. Especially during cold weather fishing, each and every trout is greatly appreciated. And make sure you have the extra trout stamp on your fishing license before you venture out in the cold.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.