The Top 5 Best Fish to Catch During Winter in North America

Outdoors Magazine is reader-supported. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

The Top 5 Best Fish to Catch During Winter in North America

Winter is a great time for fishing in North America, and there are many species of fish that can be caught. So if you’re looking for the best fish to catch during winter, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we’ll cover the top 5 best fish to catch during winter in North America, the factors to consider before going fishing in winter, and some tips for fishing in the winter.

Introduction to Winter Fishing

Winter fishing can be a great experience, and it offers anglers the chance to catch some of the best fish in the region. The cold weather and shorter days can make fishing more challenging, and the fish species varies depending on the season. But there are also some excellent opportunities for winter fishing in North America.

The most popular fish to catch in the winter months are walleye, whitefish, northern pike, yellow perch, and lake trout. Each of these species can provide an exciting and rewarding winter fishing experience. In order to have the most success, however, there are some factors to consider before heading out on the ice.

Factors to Consider Before Going Fishing in Winter

Before you head out to the ice to fish during the winter, there are a few things you should consider. The most important factor is the weather. This can be a crucial element in determining the type of fish you’ll catch, as well as the success of your trip. If the weather is too cold, you may not be able to catch anything.

You should also consider the type of bait you’re using. Different fish species will be attracted to different types of bait, so it’s important to do some research on the type of fish you’re trying to catch. If you’re fishing for walleye, for example, you may want to use live bait, such as minnows or worms.

Finally, it’s important to consider the time of day you’re fishing. Some fish species may be more active during the day, while others may be more active at night. It’s also important to consider the type of equipment you’ll need for the type of fish you’re trying to catch.

The Top 5 Best Fish to Catch During Winter in North America

Now that we’ve discussed the factors to consider before going fishing in winter, let’s take a look at the top 5 best fish to catch during winter in North America.

Walleye

Walleye are one of the most popular fish to catch during the winter months in North America. This species can be found in many freshwater lakes and rivers across the continent. Walleye are known for their aggressive behavior, and they tend to be more active during the colder months.

When fishing for walleye, it’s important to use the right bait. Live bait is often the most effective, such as minnows or worms. You should also use a jigging motion to make the bait more attractive. Walleye can be found in shallow waters during the day, and deeper waters at night.

Whitefish

Whitefish are another popular species to catch during the winter months. This species is primarily found in northern regions, but they can also be found in some southern lakes and rivers. Whitefish are known for their large size and they can put up a good fight when caught.

When fishing for whitefish, it’s important to use bait that is attractive to them. This can include live bait, such as worms or minnows, as well as artificial bait like spinners and spoons. Whitefish can be found in shallow waters during the day, and in deeper waters at night.

Northern Pike

Northern pike are another great species to target during the winter months. This species is found in many freshwater lakes and rivers across North America, and they are known for their aggressive behavior. Northern pike can grow to be quite large, and they can put up a great fight when caught.

When fishing for northern pike, it’s important to use the right bait. Live bait, such as minnows or worms, is often the most effective. You should also use a jigging motion to make the bait more attractive. Northern pike can be found in shallow waters during the day, and in deeper waters at night.

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch are a great species to target during the winter months. This species can be found in many freshwater lakes and rivers across North America. Yellow perch are known for their small size, and they tend to be more active during the colder months.

When fishing for yellow perch, it’s important to use the right bait. Live bait, such as worms or minnows, is often the most effective. You should also use a jigging motion to make the bait more attractive. Yellow perch can be found in shallow waters during the day, and in deeper waters at night.

Lake Trout

Lake trout are another excellent species to target during the winter months. This species can be found in many freshwater lakes and rivers across North America, and they can grow to be quite large. Lake trout are known for their aggressive behavior, and they can put up an impressive fight when caught.

When fishing for lake trout, it’s important to use the right bait. Live bait, such as minnows or worms, is often the most effective. You should also use a jigging motion to make the bait more attractive. Lake trout can be found in shallow waters during the day, and in deeper waters at night.

Tips for Fishing in the Winter

Fishing in the winter can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to take the proper precautions. Here are some tips for fishing in the winter:

  • Dress appropriately – Be sure to wear layers of clothing so you can adjust as necessary to keep warm.
  • Bring a thermos – Having a hot drink on hand can help keep you warm and energized.
  • Bring a light source – Having a flashlight or headlamp can help you navigate in the dark.
  • Use the right equipment – Make sure to use the proper equipment for the species you’re targeting.
  • Be safe – Make sure to take the proper safety precautions when fishing in the winter.
Bestseller No. 1
Huk Men's Tournament Wind Proof & Water Proof Fishing Bib, Black, X-Large
  • Huk: Uniting anglers through performance-engineered, technical gear designed to fuel your passion and pursuit no matter when, where or how you fish
  • The Huk Tournament Bib is designed to perform at the highest levels of the sport and exceed your expectations in extreme conditions
  • WATER PROOF & WATER REPELLENT: Durable Water Repellent coating on this bib repels water and waterproof/breathable material works to fight moisture at 3 unique layers, keeping you dry and agile while...
  • QUICK DRYING: Dries quickly so that you can stay comfortable on or off the water
  • WIND RESISTANT: Wind resistant fabrics and innovative construction limit the amount of wind that reaches your body, keeping you warmer and allowing you to stay out on longer
Bestseller No. 2
Redington I/O Fleece Pants, Warm Fly Fishing Wader Liners, Cold Water Gear for Winter Fishing - Small, Black
  • The Redington Fleece pant is the fly fisher's answer to insulation while wading.
  • Made from 280g non-pilling fleece, these pants offer a fully elastic waist, full zip fly, and on-seam side pockets.
  • Lycra stirrups keep pant legs down in your waders for added comfort.
  • Perfect fleece wader liner pants for winter fly fishing in cold water conditions.
Bestseller No. 3
Long Johns for Men, Thermal Underwear Set Winter Hunting Gear Sport Base Layer Top and Bottom Midweight Army Green M
  • ULTIMATE THERMAL RETENTION: Designed with high quality fleece lining, the thermal underwear mens is windproof, Set of long sleeve thermal shirt and bottoms can keep you warm while running, cycling,...
  • WICKING BREATHABILITY & QUICK DRY: Breathable and moisture wicking fabric is perfect to keep sweat away and dry fast, it perfectly repels odors and unpleasant smells left behind from sweat and dirt,...
  • STRETCHABLE & ABRASION RESISTANT: Made of 91% polyester+ 9% spandex, this thermal underwear offers maximum freedom and support of your body, protecting your muscle trauma during training and keeping...
  • DESIGN FOR OUTDOOR SPORTS: Use as base layer cold weather mens thermal hunting gear for outdoor compression active sports,such as rash guard, running, squat, weight training, motorcycle cycling, yoga,...
  • PACKAGE INCLUDED:1 * thermal underwear set,idea gear for all kinds of activities. If you want to wear loose, we would recommend that you choose a big yard. Maybe you will receive different color due...
Bestseller No. 4
Ice Fishing Jigs Lures Kit,Ice Fishing Gear Micro Crappie Panfish Jigs for Winter Ice Fishing Jigging Walleye Bluegill Jig Head Hooks Set with Tackle Box
  • DURABLE AND SHARP: Ice fishing jigs are constructed of solid and durable bodies for fast drop and super sharp high carbon hooks with barb makes it hard for the fish to escape once they bite down on...
  • BRIGHT COLOR SCALES: Ice fishing lures features highly detailed paint and simulation fish scales design on the jig head,Vivid colors will bring amazing response and more attractive to fishing targets.
  • ATTRACTIVE SWIM ACTION: Unique body shape design imitates the real movement of fish underwater when troll. Full metal finished allows it swim like real fish which can attract fish attentions easily.
  • ASSORTED FISHING JIGS: There are 9 different kinds of shapes ice fishing jigs and different colors for each shape to meet all your needs.Total 36pcs jigs come with a high quality plastic box.
  • WIDELY FISHING SPECIES: These small ice jigs fishing lure is perfect for Trout, Crappie, Trout, Panfish, Perch and other freshwater fish species. Ideal for trolling, casting and ice fishing.
Bestseller No. 5
Dr.Fish 40-Pieces Ice Fishing Rod and Reel Combo, Ice Fishing Gear Pole Ice Fishing Spinning Reel Equipment Set Ice Fishing Backpack Chair Ice Jigs Lures Ice Fishing Accessories
  • Increase your chances for success on the ice this season with the Dr.Fish Ice Catcher 24" Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combo Complete Kit with Backpack Seat.
  • 24” ice fishing rod features solid graphite blank provides superior sensitivity and comfortable handles ensure comfortable operation in freezing winter.Rod type: spinning
  • 5BB spinning reel with spare spool makes everything easier to bring crappie, pike and walleyes up on the ice.
  • Amazing assortment of ice fishing lures including balanced lure like jig rap, jigger shads, jig head and soft plastic worm. All in the most productive pattern.
  • Other key unit including two ice bomber, one backpack seat, one storage box. All are strictly selected to assist ice anglers to catch more walleyes, pikes and crappies on the ice.
Bestseller No. 6
Stormy Kromer Rancher Cap - Winter Thinsulate Wool Hat with Fleece Earflap, Cold Weather Gear, Warm Black
  • RANCHER CAP: The Stormy Kromer Rancher hat offers the fit and comfort of the Original Kromer Cap, while providing heightened levels of warmth. With the same six-panel construction designed to stay on...
  • COMPOSITION: The epitome of warmth and durability, this sturdy fitted cap has a fleece-lined earband and is constructed out of wool and nylon. Fashioned with six-panel crown construction and lined...
  • EARBAND: Equipped with a longer adjustable hinged pull-down earband than the Original Kromer Cap, the Rancher Cap is ideal for keeping your head warm and insulated during the cold winter months.
  • GREAT GIFT: The Rancher cap is the perfect gift to ensure that special someone stays warm during any winter activity, from ice fishing to shoveling snow. Available in 10 different sizes, this hat is...
  • CUT AND SEWN IN THE USA: Located in Michigan, Stormy Kromer has been crafting reliable and high-quality hats for over a century. They are dedicated to superior customer service with an offered...
Bestseller No. 7
Stormy Kromer Rancher Cap - Winter Thinsulate Wool Hat with Fleece Earflap, Cold Weather Gear, Warm Blaze Orange
  • RANCHER CAP: The Stormy Kromer Rancher hat offers the fit and comfort of the Original Kromer Cap, while providing heightened levels of warmth. With the same six-panel construction designed to stay on...
  • COMPOSITION: The epitome of warmth and durability, this sturdy fitted cap has a fleece-lined earband and is constructed out of wool and nylon. Fashioned with six-panel crown construction and lined...
  • EARBAND: Equipped with a longer adjustable hinged pull-down earband than the Original Kromer Cap, the Rancher Cap is ideal for keeping your head warm and insulated during the cold winter months.
  • GREAT GIFT: The Rancher cap is the perfect gift to ensure that special someone stays warm during any winter activity, from ice fishing to shoveling snow. Available in 10 different sizes, this hat is...
  • CUT AND SEWN IN THE USA: Located in Michigan, Stormy Kromer has been crafting reliable and high-quality hats for over a century. They are dedicated to superior customer service with an offered...
Bestseller No. 8
SAITAG Balaclava Ski Mask Warm Face Mask for Cold Weather Winter Skiing Snowboarding Motorcycling Ice Fishing Men (Army Green)
  • SPECIAL DESIGN: Our balaclava designs movable in breathable face mask. This design is convenient that you can move the face part if you no need. But you don't worry the winter cold close to your head...
  • BREATHABLE SKI MASK: The mouth part and nose parts design with breathable mesh, and the face parts to design fleece fabric. The warm fleece warms your face, as the same time, the mesh not fogs up your...
  • PROTECT SKIN: Soft fleece material and breathable mesh, they are skin-friendly and keep warm, while antistatic and does not irritate the face skin. Our ski balaclava protects your face and neck skin...
  • MULTIFUNCTIONAL BALACLAVA: The face mask for cold weather can be used as a balaclava, pirate hat, full & half face mask and neck warmer, perfect fits to different occasions. It will meet your need...
  • UNIVERSAL SIZE: Soft elastic fleece material that can cover your head, ears, neck and face and provide the ultimate warmth protection and comfort in winter. So one size can fit most head size and no...

Conclusion

Winter fishing can be a great experience, and there are many species of fish that can be caught during the winter months. The top 5 best fish to catch during winter in North America are walleye, whitefish, northern pike, yellow perch, and lake trout. Before going fishing in winter, it’s important to consider the weather, the type of bait you’re using, and the time of day you’re fishing. These tips, along with proper safety precautions, can help ensure a successful and enjoyable winter fishing experience.

Spread The Word

Share on facebook
Share
Share on pinterest
Pinterest