Creativity is quintessential in design ideation, as it fuels innovation in an ever-changing world. However, designers often experience states of being stuck and fixated, either on their own solutions, on examples or on the design process. A think-Aloud protocol study and interviews were conducted with 31 novice designers in order to capture their strategies to cope with fixation and other types of hindrances to creativity. The findings corroborate past research on design fixation, adding a qualitative perspective to the existing growing body of knowledge on this topic. Furthermore, the study reveals the opportunistic and sometimes unexpected strategies designers apply in order to continue ideation. This paper contributes to the understanding of the opportunistic behaviour of designers in ideation and has implications for the study of design fixation and other barriers to creativity at the methodological level.