Working out windy conditions

This spring has been one of the windiest we’ve had, and it brings up several points that are worth considering. You know, we hear the phrase “wind is your friend” a lot and, for the most part, I agree.

In my opinion, springtime sight fishing is really the only scenario where wind can hinder what I’m doing. With pretty much any other way I want to fish, I can figure out how to work with the wind, and to tell you the truth, I actually prefer it.

From past experience, the days when it’s blowing tend to be better days. Even in the wintertime, a cold wind gets everything moving, and it kind of camouflages your bait.

Anytime you fish a day when it’s blowing 20-30, you’re going to come in worn out because it takes a different mentality to fight the wind all day. Your casting, your boat positioning, even just driving around takes a lot out of you. But the rewards can make it worth all the effort.

Of course, there is a point where it blows too much, especially on shallower lakes like Okeechobee, or some of the river lakes. When the wind muddies up shallow water, it can be tougher. But day in and day out, especially on highland reservoirs, I would much rather go fishing on a windy day than on a calmer day.

Now, that being said, I believe there are definitely some important things to consider. The biggest thing is that it’s hard to fish a bottom bait. On windy days, you’re usually fishing moving baits like spinnerbaits, squarebills and other crankbaits because you’re more efficient doing that.

Another detail that I consider is the angle of the wind. I want to fish banks where the wind is hitting the bank at 90 degrees. Even on banks where the wind is hitting at a 45-degree angle, there may be a point or something that turns and allows the wind to hit at 90 degrees.

It seems like that’s where the fish will stack up because that’s where the bait will get congregated. This scenario is similar to where river current hits something head-on and the fish position in the slack water so they can ambush something. 

Now, there’s another windy-day scenario that I look for, and it usually takes some time to develop. I call this one the wrap-around, and it’s just the first creek or pocket inside of a windy bank. Those baitfish are getting beaten up on the bank and after a while they’re going to move around that corner where they can relax. After a day or two, everything living on that windy bank will eventually move into that creek or pocket.

I’ll generally want to fish the first couple of days of a windy period in the wind, but after a while it gets to where there’s too much wind and you have a hard time controlling the boat and being precise with your casts. That’s when these wrap-around scenarios can be very productive.

Regardless of where you fish on a windy day, the one thing I’d stress over all of these strategies is the safety factor. I realize a lot of anglers may have just one day off every week and you have to deal with whatever the weather throws at you, but don’t risk your safety.

In extremely windy conditions, there is a point where it’s just not a good decision to go. If your gut tells you it’s not a good decision, then look carefully at your options. Drive an extra five miles and put in at a protected creek so you don’t have to cross the main lake.

We all love to fish, but there’s not a bass swimming that’s worth risking your safety.