Summer’s feverish soft plastic bite has begun to fade as winter’s chill sets in. Retreating water temperatures dictate slower presentations as a fish’s metabolism turns sluggish. As fishing days grow shorter, try these incremental adjustments to improve your fish catching quotient.
1. Floater. When flicking plastics, most folks opt for lighter jig heads or weights to slow a bait’s fall rate. While this works well, it negatively affects casting distances—pulling you in tighter to already spooky fish.
Switching to more buoyant, floating soft plastics (while sticking with the same head or weight) retard sink rates, while keeping casting distances long and fishing pressure low.
2. Clearly. Swapping out monofilament for braid takes advantage of mono’s natural buoyancy. These clear lines slows a bait’s rate of descent; allowing it to remain in the strike zone longer.
Additionally, today’s transparent mono is less apt to spook fish visually when compared to braid. No matter how compelling, steer clear of fluorocarbon lines as they sink very quickly—increasing presentation tempo to lethargic fish.
3. Choke up. Shorter rods slows a bait’s pace. Their longer cousins increase the linear distance from the rod tip to the water, lengthening the amount of line out (commonly referred to as “loop length”). This increase in loop length tugs on the bait horizontally instead of allowing it to drop slowly vertically.
4. Restrictor plate. High-speed baitcasters are fantastic, however, their blazing retrieve rates gobble-up line resulting in rushed presentations. Try stepping down to a slower crank rate reel; your presentation will be more deliberate and you’ll exponentially improve your strike-to-cast ratio in chilly water.