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Here’s What Happens To Fish During Winter

Here’s What Happens To Fish During Winter

From beautiful, fading foliage to brisk weather and all your favorite seasonal festivities, the signs are clear — it’s that time of year again! As you enjoy time with friends and family at the many holiday gatherings to come, you may be hanging up your fishing rod and tackle if it’s too cold (or even icy) to fish where you live. And that’s OK! The fish will be biting when you’re back on your Blackfin this spring. But all the same, you may be wondering — what happens to fish during winter, anyway?

It’s a question with many different (and perhaps surprising answers!), so let’s dive in below.

A Seasonal Switch

If you’re primarily a freshwater angler, you probably already know a thing or two about fall turnover. This describes a phenomenon most typically seen in larger lakes, in which (once the weather gets cold enough) the top layer of water becomes more dense and sinks to the bottom. Instead of the surface being warm and the depths being cold, as you’ll find in the summer, the bottom becomes the warmest layer — thus, the place fish like to hang out to keep warm.

Still, in cold weather, no layer is truly warm enough for fish to be their active best. As cold-blooded animals, fish are dependent on their surroundings to regulate their metabolism, so they slow down during the winter months. Of course, anglers are advised to not go boating in freezing weather anyway, since the frigid conditions can negatively affect your engine — so even if the fish were biting, you wouldn’t want to risk the cold to cast your line.

What About Ice Fishing?

You may not be able to bring your boat out during freezing weather, but you can certainly try your hand at another kind of fishing — ice fishing, that is! If you’re someone who likes to brave the elements, destinations like Red Lake, Minnesota or Moosehead Lake, Maine might be the perfect places to do it. You’ll still get to see the beauty of nature and your favorite freshwater spots — just in an all-new way.

While ice fishing is a slow, pensive form of fishing, you can definitely still get bites! Though you might assume that ice makes fish colder, it actually has an insulative effect on lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams, helping the fish feel a bit warmer below.

Over In The Ocean...

Of course, saltwater fish are an entirely different game. Unlike their freshwater counterparts, who are limited to the lake or pond they call “home,” fish like marlin, yellowfin tuna, and countless other species can travel south toward warmer waters during the winter. Not unlike human travelers, of course!

Even though temperate oceans rarely freeze, these fish don’t like to stick around anyway. Come spring and summer, New England and other East Coast hot-spots will come alive with sportfishing fun — until then, warmer locales like the Sunshine State are your best bet for big-time winter fishing.

Hopefully, knowing what happens to fish during winter will make your seasonal break a bit easier to handle! If you don’t already have a Blackfin of your own, why not use this time to build your own online, and experiment with different colors and configurations? Or, head to a local boat show — ‘tis the season, after all — and see one of our award-winning models in person. Either way, fishing fun awaits!


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