Most anglers start off their day by checking out weather reports or just looking outside; do I go or not? Just remember that when you look outside and your neighbor’s tree is blowing over, it might not be a bad thing at this time of the year.
Wind in the winter: now that is a whole different ballgame. It just makes it unbearable to fish at times. However, wind in the fall and summer can make the fishing red-hot! You just have to believe in one thing, the wind is your friend.
You can’t change Mother Nature, you’ve got to go with it. For example, if you are a weightless worm fisherman, you are going to have to adjust.
The key to how the wind effects the action is water temperature. At 70 degrees or higher, fish need to eat a lot. So even though the weather may not be to your liking, the fish are still eating. Speaking for myself, I want to feed them!
Let’s talk about the different kinds of wind. Let’s set the table for your day on the delta. The water temperature is in the 70’s; of course it is windy, but is it a cold wind and white caps? Most likely, throughout the night the water temperature dropped, so it will be hard to get a morning topwater bite; not impossible, but tough.
My selections in this case are subsurface baits with a couple of modifications. The first bait I’d turn to is a crankbait. A couple baits come to mind. I need baits with a big wobble, the more commotion, the better. Strike Kings 4S in a crawdad or bluegill pattern and Ima’s Shaker also in a crawdad or bluegill pattern.
Cranking the bait down and ticking the structure with a stop and go retrieve is important; deflection, deflection, deflection, giving the bait the look of an injured food source.
Persuader’s E-Chip Spinner Bait in a half ounce size, chartreuse and white or black and red, bumping and ripping, though structure can be money in the bank or fish in the box when the wind blows and the fish refuse to come to the surface.
If you love to flip or pitch, adjust your weight so you can feel the bottom. Keep your rod tip low so the wind won’t catch your line as you work the bait back. A quarter ounce Tru-Tungsten weight or larger would be my recommendation, teamed with a 5/0 Daiichi Offset Hook rigged with a ten inch Berkley Power Worm in a dark color. This bait will give you a big profile with a lot of water disturbance.
Remember, I did say a couple of modifications, topwater baits can be thrown on a cold, windy morning, but the bait needs to stay in the strike zone longer than usual.
Optimum Baits’ Poppin Furbit is a weedless frog with a popping mouth. It makes a large commotion on the surface, but will stay in the strike zone making it a bait that big bas can’t resist.
Dark colors work well in the morning and as the day progresses you can move to lighter colors. Last but not least, Dep’s Large Buzz Jet can spark some big bites, it is kind of like a wake bait, but with a prop on its’ rear. It makes a major disturbance on the surface and can be fished in the strike zone as long as you want to keep it there. Kicking your wrist sharp in a downward motion can bring up the biggest bass in the area.
With the same basic conditions, but with warm winds in the morning, other baits can be added to your arsenal, including gPersuader’s Double Buzz Bait in the half ounce size, white and chartreuse or black and red.
The double buzz is a toad raiser; it creates a lot of noise, and a lot of commotion. Make sure the two blades tick each other every so often to add more noise.
Optimum’s Double Diamond Swim Bait has a large tail, which gives it a very large thump. Rigged weedless with Daiichi’s new 7/0 Butt Dragger swimbait hook in a shad or bluegill color, this bait is deadly.
Now listen up: the color of the water dictates the color selection of your lures. For muddy water add chartreuse or a little orange on your baits. With your soft baits, go a little darker and this will help make them stand out.
When you are fishing one of those light windy days, Optimum Baits O B Minnow in a seven inch size is one of my top baits. I like this bait in either foil finish or chartreuse.
Boat position is very important. The speed of the boat will change the way you will be able to retrieve your bait. If you need to work the bait slow, moving against the wind will keep the boat stationary. As you work the trolling motor forward, work your bait in front of the boat.
When you are fishing a fast moving bait, go with the wind. This will allow you to cover the water faster to get the most active fish to strike. Depending on the bait you are throwing, you can see how boat positioning can make or break a windy day.
I’ve filled up your tackle box with some of my recommendations and thoughts. Wind is an adjustment; it’s something as anglers that we all must deal with. Don’t walk away from wind. Instead meet it head on. Don’t let it work you…you work the wind!