Fishing in the wind What you need to know

Fishing in the wind can be your friend! In most magazines and fishing shows you will see a bass boat or walleye rig flying across a glass smooth lake. We as fisherman know this is not true. Lot's of the time you are fighting wind. Fishing in the wind can be great but you have to be safe!

Most fisherman avoid the wind and I am not advocating doing anything unsafe or something you are uncomfortable doing, fishing the windy side of a lake can be highly productive. The reason this can be so good is because as the wind pushes the waves across the lake they carry the warm surface water from one side of the lake to the other. As the wind pushes the waves across the lake they also carry plankton with them concentrating it on the windward side which attracts the baitfish.

They eat plankton, they also attract the bigger fish. Waves crashing the shore on the windward side of a lake boil up the water, break up the light penetration and oxygenate the water on this side of the lake. If you consider these factors you will see why the windy side of a lake is irresistible to baitfish and gamefish alike.

The crashing waves will break up the outline of your boat and mask motor noise. In calm water fish can hear and see much better so you have to back off and make long casts. In a big wind the fish may not even know you are there. If a wind comes up while you are out the fish will not stack up on the windward side of the lake right away.

It may take a while before you find them there. As the water on the windward side of the lake becomes more stained and beat up lure selection and presentation become more important. It is better to use brightly colored baits that give off a lot of vibrations. This helps the fish find the lure better. When the wind is blowing strong crankbaits and blade baits work great but jigs can be very effective if they are fished aggressively.

Don't be afraid to go shallow. Fish on the wind side of the lake that were at 35 feet will go as shallow as 10 feet or less. Boat control is critical in the wind. Before you know it you could be crashed up on shore. If the trolling motor is not strong enough in the wind you can use a drift sock or backtroll. I can pretty much keep my boat in one spot backtrolling,controlling the boat and fishing at the same time can be a trick but with a little practice becomes second nature.

Backtrolling is nothing more than pointing the back end of the boat into the waves and giving it a shot of reverse once in a while. With a little practice you will be doing it without even thinking about it. This is very effective when trying to stay on top of the walleye in the wind. You can basically keep your boat in one spot once you get good at backtrolling.

I have been in waves that were scary. I wanted to cut across an open area that should have taken 5 minutes but the wind and waves were so bad that I skirted shoreline to get there because the waves were so bad I was afraid to cross the large open water. This was in Canada and It was the worst I have ever seen it.

I can not stress enough do not stay out in wind and waves that your boat can't handle. This could cost you your life! You may think you are a great swimmer but would you bet your life on it?
Fishing in the wind
on the windward side of a lake can be a great fish producer but when it comes to wind and waves use your head. No fish is worth your life. Live to fish another day. If wind conditions get to bad get off the water!