Your Marine Heads Specialists Talk About Some Great Ways to Get Your Fishing Fix During Winter
Raritan Engineering your marine heads suppliers would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to find some great winter fishing spots.
For hardcore anglers, myself among them, just about any fishing is better than none at all. It’s not even necessarily a matter of traveling to a warmer climate. It’s the fishing, which is why I sometimes toss piles of fleece and Gore-Tex into the truck and head for a winter steelhead river, where I can wade happily for hours and cast along the edges of icy slush.
Winter is also an opportune time to fish those places you’ve always wanted to try or for those species that have always fascinated you. Some years back, I fished with a longtime Florida bass guide who confessed in a quiet moment that his lifelong dream was to go tarpon fishing.
Here are 15 top winter fishing destinations in the Lower 48. They aren’t the only ones. But I was trying for geographic variety so that most readers could reach one or more without having to spring for an airline ticket. So, check the list, check your gear, and scratch the itch.
1. OCEAN RUNNERS [WASHINGTON]
Steelhead in the Pacific Northwest are perhaps the most intensely politicized fish on earth. They are big, beautiful, and hard to catch. Their runs have been decimated by decades of habitat loss and overfishing. Freshwater trout are a sport, but oceangoing steelhead are a passion.
Steelheading on the peninsula revolves around the little town of Forks, Washington, in the northwestern corner. It’s near the Sol Duc, Calawah, and Bogachiel Rivers, which together form the Quillayute system. Other well-known steelhead rivers, such as the Hoh, Queets, and Quinalt, are a short distance south, along the western side of the peninsula.
2. SKI-SLOPE TROUT [COLORADO]
There are some truly crazy trout fishermen in Colorado, where tire chains and four-wheel-drive vehicles are basic equipment for winter fishing. If those can’t get you to your favorite December water—and yes, that happens—you may need a snowmobile, too.
We Continue Discussing Awesome Places to Go for Your Next Winter Fishing Trip
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Aspen, Vail, Breckenridge, Steamboat—scratch deeply enough around any major Colorado ski resort and you’ll find at least a few winter flyfishers. They’ve figured out that as long as there’s some open, flowing water nearby, the trout will eat something no matter how cold it is outside.
A little more civilized (insert snooty sniff here) option is on the fabled Fryingpan tailwater near Aspen. It’s a 14-mile stretch, which stays open all winter, where big rainbows and browns feast on Mysis shrimp flushed out of Ruedi Reservoir upstream.
3. FRESH STRIPES [GEORGIA]
It’s a little hard for many out-of-staters to think of Georgia as a striped-bass power-house, but consider these notes: The state-record striper is a mammoth 63-pounder taken from the Oconee River in 1967. Ancient history, you say? Nope. In 2002, another giant a few ounces shy of 60 pounds came from Lake Hartwell along the Georgia–South Carolina border.
A striper is a striper, and the same fundamental rule applies here as everywhere else they’re found: Find the baitfish, and you’ll find the bass. In winter, shad and herring schools tend to congregate in the lower reaches of major reservoirs or the lower ends of creek-mouth tributaries.
This fish species can actually repair brain damage from freezing in the winter
Every winter, the northern European crucian carp gets frozen into the ice, and receives no oxygen. Every spring, when the ice melts, a seeming miracle occurs: the fish emerges from the ice and resumes normal life.
Or, not quite. When they thaw from their winter freeze, the crucian carp’s brain is not quite the same, according to new research. But the same researchers also found that the fish can recover from its months of anoxia.
What happens to their brains has been a little more elusive.
First, the fish were deprived of oxygen – a condition normally experienced in winter when the fish are frozen. After a week, they were resupplied with oxygen for an artificial spring.
Stains were used to detect cell death and growth.
Interestingly, a lack of oxygen showed no change in the normal rate of cell death in the brain. It wasn’t until the fish was reoxygenated that cell death was observed – the rate more than doubling.
“When the anoxic fish were given 1 day of reoxygenation at normal oxygen levels, a 170 percent increase in the number of apoptotic cells was detected,” wrote researcher Lisa Yuen in her 2010 Master thesis.
For the next part of the research, the fish were trained how to navigate a maze to find food. Then, they were subjected to another artificial winter, revived again, brain cell death and all, and put back in the maze.
The fish navigated the maze and reached the food at the end just as quickly as they had before being deprived of oxygen – but their memories had suffered and they took more wrong turns while doing so, the researchers found.
For the final stage of the experiment, fish that hadn’t been trained to use the maze were subjected to an artificial winter, revived, then trained to use the maze.
According to the team, the remarkable recovery happened despite suffering damage to the telencephalon – the part of the fish brain thought to be a homologue to our own hippocampus, a key brain area involved in learning and memory.
“This makes the crucian carp an interesting model from a biomedical perspective – while it is unlikely that we will find ways to allow human tissues to survive severe anoxic insults without damage, it is feasible that studies on animals like the crucian carp can provide knowledge for how we can limit and repair the damage.”
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