Just because winter has arrived doesn’t mean you have to hang up your lines. Some species of fish will be in short supply, becoming inactive or swimming off to warmer seas, but some will move into estuaries where the water temperature and food supplies are kinder.
Watching the water temperature is crucial. If temperatures drop suddenly you will find fish very hard to find so it’s best to aim for water temperature no less than 16 degrees. This will vary depending on where you are in Australia – the further north the warmer the average water temperature will be and the further south, the chillier. Your fishing boat Sounder will be able to keep you informed on water temps. If there are ocean currents pushing cold water with them you will find the first few kilometres of an estuary will be affected. Conversely, if the tide is on the way out the upper areas of the estuary will be coldest, so keep your eye on the tides when planning where to fish. Fish will find warmer spots so look for an area that is full sunlight, and a shallow area will be warmer. Weed growth can also help. If you are fishing off the bank, choose the sunniest side.
Avoid Clear Water
Looking at pristine water may be an enjoyable pastime but clear water is not great for winter fishing. Fish can spot your boat and your hooks in clear water and they will stay away in schools! Fish are on the lookout for predators so if they catch sight of a large moving shape above them, they will be gone in no time.
Try and find water that has a bit of colour about it. Another idea is to throw your line in during low light times, like sun up, sun down or even night fishing. Water clarity is usually less during low tide too.
Watch the barometer. If it’s falling rapidly, forget the fishing. Barometric pressure does affect fish, if it’s too low or falling quickly, the fish will become inactive and difficult to catch. If the barometer reading is stable or rising, the fish may be biting. If you don’t have a barometer, watch the weather maps.
Best of luck with your winter fishing. We’d love to hear about your winter catches.