Today was 70 degrees and sunny in Southern California. I’m not trying to rub it in your face, but I got out to the beach and checked out a new stretch of sand. A little bit of attention to my offerings, but no buyers. It was okay. At the end of the day, I spent a sunny day at the beach. I grew up living in colder weather and I often think that if it was still the case, I’d be wetting a line in the winter months. For those of us that consider ourselves hardcore anglers, it simply is who we are.

This article is dedicated to those hardcore anglers living in colder climes and still looking to get out on the water. In the piece, BD Outdoors outlines a few key Winter Boating Tips.

wintercodIt was January 2, and a snowstorm had just passed through central New Jersey. The temperatures were in the teens, and the wind was blowing so the wind chill was pushing zero. The marina was empty except for four boats still floating in their slips, and all four just happened to be Yamaha-powered center consoles in the 24-to-32-foot range. Without doubt, all of these were hardcore recreational fishing boats. From the footprints in the snow you could see that three of the owners had already been there to shovel the decks, the fourth would likely be along shortly. What would possess someone to leave a boat in the water this late in the year exposed to the weather? If you’re a diehard saltwater fisherman, you already know the answer to that question. Almost anywhere you go around the country, the fishing never really stops for the winter. The only thing lacking is the desire to fish through the cold weather by the less dedicated.

In the more northern states, the action switches over to hard water fishing—ice fishing for the uninitiated. Along the mid-Atlantic coast, there are plenty of fish to pursue depending on your latitude and attitude. Off the New Jersey coast, there are artificial reefs, wrecks and other bottom structure frequented by codfish, ling, whiting and blackfish – just waiting for someone to come along and drop a hook baited with clam or crab to the bottom. That kind of fishing requires a boat, hence the four boats in the marina obviously owned by truly hardcore fishermen. All they are waiting for is a break in the weather that will allow them to fire up the boat and go fishing, even during the coldest months of the year.

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Photos: BD Outdoors

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Joe Sarmiento
Joe is an avid saltwater angler. He grew up in Washington State on the south end of Puget Sound where he first started fishing as a boy catching perch, flounder, rockfish, and occasionally salmon. Today, Joe lives in Southern California where he fishes off beaches and jetties, kayaks, and sportfishing boats. Joe writes about his saltwater adventures in the SoCal Salty blog, and for Western Outdoor News.