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 Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.