February steelhead, should I go fishing?
Mid-winter fishing is fun as long as you are willing to deal with lower catch rates and weather that becomes the real problem with skim ice and line ice. After this weekend, next week’s weather will usher in a major change in fishing conditions.
The next 10 days will present a challenge that you must be willing to over-come to be successful. As the week progresses snow and freezing temperatures will surely ice-lock most of the slow moving water on all tributaries. You should fish early in the week and be prepared to fish along and under edge ice.
Next weekend would be a good time to pack the ice rod if you plan a steelhead trip. You can catch steelhead standing on the water rather than in the water!
Not a great fishing forecast for sure, however; the question remains, should I go fishing? The easy answer is yes, but it is not always the smart answer.
We all have personal limitations that control the fishing decisions we make. The most important factor we consider is time; although, you could make a case for health as the most critical. Regardless, both are on the list of things to consider when contemplating a fishing trip. Since it takes a financial investment to have fun, fishing or otherwise, disposable income ranks high as well.
When we are undecided about making a fishing trip, the key factor is the anticipated outcome – will I catch steelhead?
The average angler with past, steelhead fishing experience will fish in October thru December with the expectation of catching at least one steelhead or more. It is that foundation on which, you make a “should I go fishing” decision early in the season.
Let’s assume the truck is fueled, no family responsibilities, no work scheduled, and you receive a “let's make a trip for steelhead call”. Well, what is your reply?
The more you fish for Lake Erie steelhead, the more you realize that a successful trip is no slam-dunk. Fishless hours can morph into fishless days followed by a long ride home. Don’t let the pictures on fishing Websites fool you. They are all “past tense” images of what has happened, and offer no guarantee of what is to come.
Some say a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work, but I would trade some of my really bad fishing days for a chance to earn a living and save my off-work time for a better fishing day when the fishing is hot!
Here is a clip of a successful February trip to serve as a reminder of what can happen, but we all realize it is no guarantee of what will happen.