View Full Version : Winter Fishing

09-26-2012, 09:09 AM
I have never fished between September and March. But I plan to this year. What gloves do you guys use? Do you leave your life jackets on in case of falling overboard? I am sure I will be fishing alone a lot. What clothes and boots you use? I have got plenty of warm windproof hunting clothes I can use. Didn't know if something was better. Also what do you do for ice at the ramp? Just trying to get prepared before its on us.

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09-26-2012, 09:36 AM
I fish during all periods of ice out. Up to December in this neck of the woods and as early as March in the spring. I like the rag wool fingerless gloves and use two hand warmers in each side pocket. These wool gloves are warm even when wet - to a degree.

Life jackets are a per-requisite, however, that won't save you in 35 degree water. Your chances of survival every minute you in that wet environment - under those conditions - decrease exponentially. Wear a lift jacket for sure, but PLAN every move you make, so as not to have to resort that to save your life!

I use a set of Carter's "Blizzard Proof" coveralls on top of my thermal long johns. I top that off with a down parka and wool hunter's cap. Have been using this outfit for a lot of seasons now and have not had to feel the water first hand - yet. :biggrin

09-26-2012, 09:53 AM
Neoprene fingerless gloves with some sort of mitten for driving the boat. Remington brand (cheap) 10x cloth bibs and parks when needed. I have started wearing a lot of fleece for my layering because it is warmer and more comfortable than comparable materials-also very breathable. One thing most winter time anglers do not account for is the need for a larger PFD to accommodate the extra clothing underneath. My XL starts to feel like a kid's medium when I have on the fleece pullover, bibs and parka so try everything on before you hit the ramp.

For KY winters at the ramp I always have a good tow strap with me, big bag of cheapest kitty litter stays in the toolbox all winter for traction, wheel chocks to prevent slipping at the waters edge during launch, hi-lift jack in case (god forbid) your trailer goes off the edge of the ramp or finds its way into a washout hole and you don't have help to tow you out. I keep a change of dry clothes in the boat and in the truck in case I go into the water. Your cell phone WITH a charger is a must. I spay my bunk carpet with silicone spray a few times during the winter once I launch to make it easier to launch at the different angles of winter pool and it helps keep ice from forming on your bunks so bad.

I fish by myself more than 90% of the year and plan on taking everything with me in the winter to take care of business and count on not having any help.

09-26-2012, 11:21 AM
I have never fished between September and March. But I plan to this year. What gloves do you guys use?
I mainly fish with just the brown jersey gloves as much as possible and keep several pairs on board to change out for dry. I always keep those chemical handwarmer packets to use inside my gloves either on the palm side or the back side of my hands. Either side they really help out. For the real bitter stuff I also have a pair of flip mitt gloves. Glacier Glove Kenai Neoprene Palm with Windbloc Back Flip Mitt : Fishwest Online Fly Shop (http://www.fishwest.net/flyfishing/product/GG47759BK.html?gclid=CN7kp_vA07ICFYs7MgoduT4Anw#.U GMYJVFvwoM)

I always consider my hands as very problematic while winter fishing but that problem can best be alleviated by making sure my head neck and feet are always warm and toasty. If I get behind at keeping warm in those areas my hands will become an impossible situation. I always wear a wool neck gaiter when the temp gets into the mid forties. When I used to hunt I found that that neck gaiter was a real efficient neat and easy heat regulator and would allow me to wear lighter jackets if I was wearing it while bird hunting and thus continued using it while cold weather fishing.

Do you leave your life jackets on in case of falling overboard? I am sure I will be fishing alone a lot.
Yes I always have my inflatable vest on while fishing and I also fish alone while winter fishing and fully realize that if I do go into the water I'll probably be a goner since I doubt if I would be able to get back into the boat on my own. When I am alone I really slow down and become very deliberate with every thing or move I do while out there.

What clothes and boots you use? I have got plenty of warm windproof hunting clothes I can use. Didn't know if something was better.
I always start with a wicking base layer of long underwear. How to Choose a Base Layer (Long Underwear) (http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/underwear.html) then add a second layer of long underwear when its colder then jeans and a wool shirt. For my outer layer I've been using these and love them IceArmor Extreme Suits (Gray/Black) - Suits - Outerwear (http://clamoutdoors.com/ice_armor/outerware/ia-suits/icearmor-extreme-suit.html) and when I got them I don't think the Arctic Armor was available. Arctic Armor (http://www.profishingsupply.com/arcticarmor/index.html) Some friends have bought these since I got my Ice Armour and really like them but one thing I've noticed is it seems to me the Arctic Armour's outer fabric is not as durable as the Ice Armour fabric is from what I've seen of their suit but that's just MHO.
As for boots I'm able to get by with the cheaper Micky Mouse type boots with the rubber and leather outer and the thick felt liners inside with a light polypropylene base layer sock and with wool socks. Just try and have the boot large enough that the two sock layers don't make it real tight for your feet.

Also what do you do for ice at the ramp? Just trying to get prepared before its on us.

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I consider a four wheel drive as a necessity for the winter ramps. Some folks carry ice melt and sand but I haven't. Also note that considerate fellow winter fishers try and sling as little amounts of water on frozen ramps for fellow fishers that will be using the ramp after them. A considerate fisher will stop with the trailer wheels at the water line letting the trailer drain as much as water possible before continuing up and out of the ramp. As you can tell it just makes my blood boil seeing those unconscious and inconsiderate fishers sling all that water on a frozen ramp to freeze up and make it more difficult for the next fisher wanting to use that ramp.

09-26-2012, 11:59 AM
Fishing alone in the winter scares me a lot. Going into cold water in winter clothing would be dangerous even if you had somebody aboard to help you back in. The shock when you hit the water is unimaginable until you've experienced it, and if your boat drifts 15 feet before you collect yourself, your odds of survival are pretty low even with a flotation device.

Extra clothes in the boat and a PFD are mandatory IMO. Boots can be a real problem in the water.

09-26-2012, 07:29 PM
I try to fish all winter, it a great time to be out on the lake. My clothes are worn in layers most of the time starting with under armour cold gear, jeans, a heavy shirt and then a set of columbias. It has to be very cold for me to add to that set up. My boots depend on how cold it is, everything from light boots that I turkey hunt in to pack boots. For me light wool gloves work the best to fish in, for running I like something thats water/wind proof. Also I wear a Mustang self inflating life vest at ALL times, I might not survive the cold water but I'll be easier to find. As for getting back in the boat after taking a dip, my plan if I can get back to the boat is to straddle the lower unit on the outboard and use the tilt switch on it to lift me out of the water.

I have been gathering a survival kit for the boat, so far it has four cans of streno fuel, matches in a water proof container, a magnesium fire starter and a bic grill lighter. I need to pick up a cou[le space blankets and a few other items to go in it. In the winter there is also dry clothes on the boat.

IMO a guy should plan on trouble and have a few items that could save your life if things go bad.

09-26-2012, 10:01 PM
some good advice has been said already here, i will add my :twocents. Get some long cuff motorcycle gloves for driving the boat, you also need some sort of face shield for running down the lake, i use a full face motorcycle helment when it is bitter cold and i have to make a long run. Cabela's insulated guidewear is the best thing on the market for beating the cold and rain. Dress in loose layers underneath, do not wear jeans. Wind suits or jogging suits work really good combined with under armor. A balclava (sp?) or gaitor around your neck and head. Insulated socks and good leather boots or shoes , not to tight. One mistake a lot of guys make is getting in the truck with the heater WAO (wide arse open) with a lot of clothes on and by the time they get to the lake they are sweating, especially their feet. If you do this you will freeze after a little time on the water. I ride to the lake with my first layer on and with just enough heat to be comfortable, hope this helps. By the way, some of the best feeshing days i have ever had have been in mid winter, good luck.

09-26-2012, 10:10 PM
I use Carhartt insulated coveralls with Browning lace up boots and wool socks. A couple layers underneath the coveralls and I'm just fine.

10-14-2012, 09:09 PM
Artic Armor suit (floats up to 800lbs) and Baffin boots... my ice fishing gear!!!:biggrin

10-14-2012, 09:28 PM
Never use gloves, just pockets. Love my Muck woody max boots.