Winter trout fishing is always special. It means that the season has opened and it is my first outing for trout in the last 3-4 months. The weather is cloudy, windy the temperature +6C, frozen guides will not be an issue, time to open the trout season. No pressure for a catch just want to be back in nature, casting, breathing in fresh air.
It is 9am first stop a gas station for a 1 day permit and a cup of coffee, which has become a routine of every fishing trip. Something comforting about it. The river patch is about 50km south of Vilnius. Upon arrival first impressions are positive, no ice on the banks, water levels seem the same as autumn, no muddy water. I prepare my gear. Today will be fishing with my Megabass Shoreluck.
First 3 hours of casting zero bites, every lure tried. Starting to get frustrated, the weather sucks, my mind is already wondering. About 15 minutes later the first bite followed by a short battle and the fish is in the net. A beautiful 30 centimeter trout. Couple of photos and the fish swims away. Caught on an all silver Smith Ltd. spoon. Relief after the first fish, energy is flowing feel warmer need to catch one more, but not today. Another 1,5 hours of casting and I am done for the day.
Same routine, similar conditions. Identical start. First 3 hours – nothing. Near the same spot I caught last time I cast about 30 meters. I start reeling, 3 seconds later I feel a jolt, something heavy is at the other end of the line. Drag is working, I start moving towards the fish. I battle it for 3-4 minutes and it ends up in my net. A trout near 40 centimeters, definitely my personal best. Could not get a decent photo of the whole fish, as I did not want to keep it out of the water for an extended period of time to prevent damage. I thanked for a great battle and let it go.
The adrenaline whore off and a move further. 20 minutes later, another bite. Lure is about 4 meters from my feet and I am following it with my eyes, a trout rises from the depths grabs the lure, couple shakes of the head and it spits the lure out. Should have given it more line instead of trying to net it. After 2 more hours of casting I finish the day with no more bites.
This time I decide to go up the river not down. 2 hours in and a small trout was in my net. Not much I can add. 3 hours of casting later and I am done. Seems more viable to go down river. Winter trout fishing has its specifics and understanding the right lure in the right occasion can mean between 1 fish in the net and 4. Still much to learn, but all in all a successful start to the season.