As we enter the coldest time of the year and our water temperature drops into the 40s, I start changing a few things up while wade fishing with artificial lures. First thing is locations to fish. I prefer to fish an area that is close to deep water and when speaking of close, I am referring to within 30-40 yards of a nearby drop off that is greater than 5-6 feet of water. Being close to an area that has the deepest water in that particular area is a must. During warming trends I will focus on the flat or shallower water in the area close to the drop off and during cooling trends I will focus on the drop off. "Warming trends" meaning the air temperature is warmer than the water and "cooling trends" meaning air temperature is colder than the water. Either way, focus and try to locate bait activity for best results. Paying close attention to water temperature is very important. a couple degrees can make a big difference in success. One of the handiest tools is a thermometer or temperature gauge on your GPS and I personally use a Garmin 741 and have found it to be very accurate. Another key to focus on is whether the bottom is mud or sand. During warming trends I prefer to fish over sand and during cooling trends I prefer to fish over a muddy bottom. The muddy bottom seems to retain heat longer than sandy bottoms during cooling trends,
Choice of lure is just as important as location and I prefer a slower presentation when waters dip into the 40s. You can obtain a slower presentation in many ways. Gambler Flappin Shads are my personal favorite all time artificial lures. To obtain that slower presentation you are looking for, downsize your lead head to a 1/16th oz. The lure will fall slower with the lighter lead head and you can keep the lure in the strike zone longer with more of a twitching retrieve instead of a steady/jerk retrieve. Another favorite lure is the famous "Corky". If fishing in less than waist deep water, the Corky Fat Boy Floater is a great lure to use and can be presented slower than most lures out there. If fishing in deeper water than waist deep, I will generally use the standard Corky Fat Boy so that you can get the lure deeper into the strike zone. Both lures are a blast to fish with and achieve some of the hardest hits you will ever get when fishing for trophy trout.
Last and very important...dress warm!!! Layer up pants and shirts, take a couple pair of gloves and face/head gear to stay warm. Always a good idea to take a towel and an extra change of clothes incase there is an accident while wading and you get wet. The next month is probably the most dangerous time to be on the water due to the cold, so please be safe out there and take precaution. Best of luck!!!
Big Trout Time!