Winter Fishing

Winter fishing for cod & whiting Poole, DorsetAs the temperature drops and the dark nights set in our attention turns to winter fishing for Cod and Whiting as the main targets go out to sea and flounders within the Poole Harbour area. Suitable warm water resistant clothing is a must, including hats and gloves for enjoyable winter fishing.

Cod Winter Fishing Tips

A good 30lb class rod at least and a suitably sized multiplier reel loaded with quality braid (no cheap versions as these will not cut the tide and force you to use heavier weights). I prefer to use at least 100lb fluorocarbon trace line approx 1200mm long and 2 x 7/O hooks fished as a ‘pennel’ rig – ensure the hook gapes are opposite each other.

Weights can be up to 2lb during the hardest part of the tide so you need the power of the rod to use such weights.

Baits are usually small Cuttle fish or Calamari squid presented neatly on the 2 hooks. Individual anglers vary on the quantity used but keep refreshing the bait to keep a good scent trail going.

During these winter Cod fishing sessions we often encounter Conger Eels, hence the heavier trace line which will test your gear to breaking point. Eels of up to 75lb are not uncommon so be prepared for a good scrap. As a bonus during the winter fishing season, often a big Turbot or big Bass are landed along with solitary big Pollack.

Cod fishing is a patience game so be prepared to sit it out and have everything crossed that a big winter Cod will take a liking to your bait.

Whiting Winter Fishing Tips

Whiting caught on Mistress Linda winter fishing trip from Poole, DorsetLighter tackle can be used for Whiting but you still have a good chance of hooking a Cod or Conger, so again good quality tackle is required. Baits vary down to angler’s choice, but mackerel and squid are the predominant ones. I use these cut into sections and presented on either a single hook flowing trace or a 3 hook paternoster rig. These can be bought from any tackle shop premade and are easier than making your own – ALWAYS check all the knots on these rigs. When the Whiting are feeding it is not uncommon to have triple shots of fish.

They are ferocious feeders and give great sport during the cold winter months.

Below is a pre made Cod trace similar to what I use but please check all knots when using traces from packets

cod trace used for winter fishing

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