Winter to some fly fishers means putting away the fishing gear and wait for the spring. For me as a sea trout hunter it means that I have to dress for the weather, and it may be a bit cold and windy, but there are fish to be caught even in January. This January its been cold, warm and windy and in this condition you really have to travel around to find the sea trout. In this blog post I will give you some tips where to find the sea trout in different conditions.
How to find the sea trout on a cold January month.
It’s about hitting them at the right time and this “window” is only narrower when the water is cold. When the water along the coasts and fjords reaches below 4-5 degrees, the sea trout is in search for water whit less salt content. The sea trout need to save the energy and separate the salt from their body. As there is scarcity of food during the cold season, it is therefore important to find a place where they can use as little energy as possible. At the same time, they slow down their metabolism so they don’t need as much food. One tip I can give you is to find the right bottom conditions when the water is cold. Try to find a dark or dark brown bottom. The reason for this is that the sea trout seek the hottest water during the cold winter . If you put a piece of white paper and a piece of dark paper in the windowsill on a sunny day, then you will soon be able to feel the difference and understand why they are looking for the dark bottoms. If you find a place with dark or dark brown bottom, just give it some minutes. even if you don’t believe in it. You may be surprised. The colder it is, the easier it actually is to find the sea trout as we know its needs. Based on google maps search you can find these spots relatively quickly.
On the open coast you can run into larger sea trouts who have skipped the spawning in the creeks. Typically, they are from 1,5 kg. and up, and swim alone or in small groups. Their metabolism is not impaired to the same extent as they spend much of their time out in deeper and warmer water. The warmer water increases their need for food as their metabolism is still high. These sea trouts often hunt more aggressively on shoals of herring. The fish of your dreams will also seek shallow waters to hunt for amphipods, and it knows where to find them. Remember that in cold weather the sea trout should not be taken up of the water. Their eyes can be damaged if they get frost. Likewise the gills of the sea trout must not be exposed to frost if it is to have a chance of surviving. Unhook the sea trout while it is in the water – even if it means you will get cold fingers.
How to find the sea trout on a warm January month
If on the other hand, the winter is “warm”, then you have to search more for the sea trout. They can be both on the open coast and in the fjords or alternate between them. It takes more work to find them the milder and atypical the weather is compared to the season. Typical spring places in mild winters are shallow water, dark bottom and bathtub that are quickly warmed by the sun. If nothing else, it is a good place to start the hunt. If these are also near fjords, where they usually overwinter or freshwater outlets, you might find them there. The weather determines the best feeding options and the best conditions for sea trout to survival and not the calendar. December, January and February do not exist for a sea trout if there is no “real” winter.
When the ice breaks in the fjords
When the ice breaks in the fjords, then you have a big change. The ice breaks as the weather is turned into warmer weather, which sets the fish in motion. Furthermore, the sun’s warm rays can now pass through the surface and warm up the bottom, which in turn warms the water. This increase in temperature causes the sea trout to feel like it is spring and becomes more active. The prey is few in numbers, so your chances are relatively good if you find them first in the right conditions. Fish like near ice edges as the sea trout like to have a roof over their heads and hide. Fish as much water as possible until you find them. Although they have become more active than when there was ice on, they do not move around the world as the water is still cold.
6 Tips for finding the sea trout in January
- Find soft dark and dark brown bottoms that are warmed up faster by the sun and stays warmer than light bottoms.
- The colder it is fish closer to water whit less salt content
- Fish when the ice breaks in the fjords and fish close to the ice edges.
- Fish in hard offshore winds off shores with greater water depths nearby, where cold water is ejected and warm water is drawn in along the bottom.
- Fish in high sunshine with onshore wind in shallow water.
- Fish in the middle of the day when the sun has had a chance to warm up the water
January has been very good for me and those who have been fishing with me. We have got many nice sea trouts in the net. In February I will be fishing in Norway and Denmark and looking forward to many great nature experiences.
Your sincerely Karl Johan Cava Machnik