Harness the wind for fish
Here in Central Illinois where land is flatter, wind can be a factor in fishing. With all the weather changes these past years, wind has become a way of life. This has shown true the past couple months and the wind can be a problem unless as anglers you learn how to make it work for you. Wind can truly help in catching fish and even though it can be annoying, there usually is some kind of cover or banks to be found to protect anglers if needed.
We always will check the windy side of a lake where wave action triggers fish feeding action. If there is no wind on the day we are out, we will work sections of a lake we know were wind swept a day or two before. You can recognize these areas by the dirtier water which is loaded with plankton that attracts baitfish that are followed by game fish. Another advantage of this dirty water early in the year is that it will warm sooner.
OK, let’s get to how the wind can work for you and your fishing. When wind blows into the shoreline, all kinds of aquatic life (plankton, minnows and small shad) are forced into area. When this happens you can count on an entire food chain to develop and at the top of this chain are the predator fish we are all after.
To fish this wind-blown area, many will position the boat out and face shore with wind at your back making it easier to cast with the wind. But if you look at what is going on here, you would see those fish are facing the wind as it blows the baitfish right into their face. Therefore, it is best to cast somewhat into the wind or set up so you bring your lure into the face of the fish.
Controlling the boat is important when it is windy but casting is maybe the toughest thing to do in the wind with backlashes and the big bows in your line. This is where good gear will make life easier along with making firm casts and keeping your rod tip lower. As for baits we find spinnerbaits and crankbaits to be easier to control in wind.
Other rewards of wind is on lakes with limited trees on the shoreline, the wind can help to cool water temps during summer along with helping to raise oxygen levels. When the wind kicks up, it not only whips baitfish into shore but it also breaks up light penetration creating a more confident feeding zone for fish.
If you are caught out on big lakes when the wind picks up, you will find it can cause major wave action. If caught out in this condition, you will be OK if you use common sense, wear a life jacket and attach the kill switch. While heading back in, it is best to hit waves at a 45 and to keep your motor trimmed up halfway to avoid spearing through the waves. If you plan to be fishing on big waters, keep an awareness of the wind and use a boat best suited for those big waters and waves. But by all means, we do not recommend getting on the water when there are dangerous high winds or storms.
Learning to work with the wind to your advantages does take patience, but next time the wind is blowing, you will be ready for some good fishing action. Even though wind may be annoying we hope to have helped you work with and use the wind to know where the fish are likely to be and so should you.
Until next time, God Bless and good fishing!