As we approach the end of the year, many of us are preparing for the long winter ahead. The days are shorter, the nights are drawing in closer, the temperature is dropping, and we’re beginning to experience colder weather. Of course, many of us will take this opportunity to spend more time indoors, wrapped up and cozy. But just because we’re in the winter doesn’t mean you have to wave goodbye to your favorite outdoor activities until the spring rolls back around. You will often find that you simply need to be a little more prepared and adapt your routine to better accommodate your activities during the winter months. Fishing most certainly falls into this category. You can have a great time winter fishing at Big Bear Lake, and with the right plan you’ll experience plenty of success! The fish are still out there, and you can still catch them (insert Pokemon theme song here). Here are a few tips to help you make the biggest catches during the colder months.

Choose Your Spot

Big Bear Lake is vast, so you need to carefully choose where you want to fish. Take time to scope out the available areas and decide where to set up. ​​It’s important to note that some areas are closed for fishing during winter, including the marinas. The area’s safest and most recommended spots for winter fishing are Juniper Point and Windy Point on the North Shore. Both are easily accessible, even following snowfall.

Prepare Your Equipment

Anyone with any experience fishing knows that your kit can make or break success. If you’re into fishing, you already have a complete setup with everything you need to catch some big fish. However, you need to make a few winter-specific adjustments to maximize your success. Fishing in colder and harsher elements can strain your special equipment more, and you may need additional support. Your reels are an excellent place to start. Take some time to thoroughly clean and lubricate your reel bearings, as the cold can make them stiff and harder to use. You can do this yourself or hand your reels to professionals who can disassemble and adequately lubricate your reel bearings. You also must ensure to properly condition your lines and rod guides. This will keep your lines supple and stop them from twisting while preventing water from freezing on your rod guides. A good dry bag is also recommended, as you’ll be more exposed to water during winter. A dry bag can prevent unused items from getting unnecessarily wet.

Dress the Part

Needless to say, it’s going to be cold out there, so you must dress the part in order to keep yourself warm throughout your fishing experience. Wear plenty of base layers, as this help to insulate heat. A winter fishing coat – preferably well waterproofed – is highly recommended, as are some quality, waterproof fishing boots. Winter basics such as hats, scarf, and even gloves with a grip can come in useful too. If you want to be extra prepared, it’s always a good idea to bring some extras in a dry bag, so you can change quickly without heading all the way back to our resort if you do get splashed and begin to feel the chill. Spare, thick socks are beneficial as well.

Consider Your Tackle

Bear in mind that water clarity is generally better in the winter. You will also find that the majority of fish species feed less as the temperature drops.This means that you’re going to have to put some reel thought (pun intended) into fine-tuning your tackle that you take out with you. Pack light, as you will need to be mobile to follow fish as they move from pockets of colder water to warmer water. You may opt for thinner diameter lines and make use of smaller baits.

Prepare to Wait

Winter fishing at Big Bear Lake requires patience. You need to be prepared to wait for your catch. As we briefly noted above, fish tend to feed less frequently during this season, so you will generally need to sit around for a little longer before getting the bite you’re looking for. Any experienced fisher knows that patience is a virtue, though. This is a skill that you can hone during your winter fishing trips.

As you can see, fishing doesn’t need to be entirely off the books this winter. Instead, you can get your fix at Big Bear Lake and book a stay at our resort to wind down after your long fishing excursions. Hopefully, some of the advice above will make your winter fishing trip successful!