Day 3: What to watch for

5d3_6138.jpg

James Overstreet

What to watch for? I’ll sum it up in one word.

Wind.

The National Weather Service issued a Lake Wind Advisory today for the tournament waters. Winds are forecast to increase from a slight breeze to around 20 mph, with gusts up to 30 mph expected. While that might seem unsafe, the gustiest winds will be around the coastal areas. And the most wind will occur later this afternoon.

What does that mean for today’s Championship Friday throughout the Kissimmee chain? Here is the word from Patrick Walters, currently fifth on the leaderboard at the Basspro.com Bassmaster Eastern Open. 

“Today we will be dealing with a wind-driven current bite. It’s wind activated and that will make the offshore bite better.”

In textbook terms, wind-driven current is moving water that stimulates bass activity, much like it does on fisheries like rivers or hydroelectric generating manmade impoundments like you find in the South. The Tennessee River system comes to mind.

Here, the only current on these natural lakes is created by the wind. The bass react accordingly because they are current oriented fish that take advantage of how the wind concentrates baitfish against and around offshore vegetation. Again, it’s like the same patterns that evolve on lakes where wind-blown points are productive. The wind positions the bait — and the bass — where they are easier to pinpoint. 

What else is affected by the wind is the shallow bite, where many anglers, some of them fishing today, are spending their time.

“You will need to catch them early in the shallows,” continued Walters. “Later in the day those areas will get blown out when the wind picks up.” 

He added, “Overall, it’s going to be really good, because all week the wind has not blown like it will today. The offshore fish will get active and not so much the shallow bite.”

Another bass activity stimulator is the byproduct of the wind. It is prefrontal and everyone knows bass bite better prior to a front.

Boat positioning and running might be a trick today, but the payoff might be the best fishing of the week. As for Walters, expect him to be offshore.

“It’ll be on all day long,” he said. More on his baits later this morning after I compile the top lures gallery that we’ll publish early next week.