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West Virginia Wildlife
Winter Fishing
Patrick McMurtry Low And Slow For Winter Trout

February 8, 2012
Reporter: Patrick McMurtry
Videographer: Brad Rice


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When you have a warm winter like we are this year, it's awfully tempting to grab your pole and hit the streams looking for trout. But while it might be 65 degrees outside, the water's still awfully cold..in fact, here outside Elkins, the water was 37 degrees and the trout were hunkered down. That calls for a different type of fishing.

David Thorne, with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources explains, "I'm going back and forth in the same area over and over. I have a good run here, it's deep, there is a lot of slow water along the edges and there is fast current up above which is where the insects and food is produced."

But since it's cold, the trout's metabolism slows way down...they're awake, but are trying to conserve as much energy as they can. That means they're not going to attack your bait like they will in warm water, in fact, you might not even know they are hitting your bait at all.

"You really need a strike indicator or something to help you see the strike because you're not going to feel it, the fish are very gentle on the hit when the water is cold. you want everything in your power to increase your sensitivity to get your strike." says Thorne.

And just because you're not getting a strike at first doesn't mean there aren't fish to be caught. David says you need to be patient and persistent.

"If they're going to eat anything, they're gonna be up here in the shoots where the foods being carried down to them, so I'm going to through the shoots time and time again hoping a trout will take what I've got to offer." says Thorne.

Also, make sure your hook has enough weight to bounce off the bottom..that's where trout hang out in the winter. Go out and have fun, if nothing else, you're fishing in an area some folks only dream about.



LEARN MORE at the W. Va. DNR


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