Once upon a time, I hid from the wind.
Hated it! Fled from it! Hunkered down in the hollow just to fish the flat water away from the waves and rumble!
I fished a 30-plus acre lake recently, and it delivered some fast bass fishing action on a variety of baits. But what struck me most was the contrast in fish activity from the calm to the windy side.
We had to finesse our fish on the leeward side of the lake with Flick Shake worms and small jigs.
But on the windward side, fish pounded squarebills and lipless crankbaits with abandon! Cast after cast, they hit, rocking those lures with a fury that belied the relatively modest size of these 12- to 16.5-inch fish!
I admit that fishing in the wind isn’t always pleasant. Big wind makes boat control tough, casting accuracy almost impossible, and monumental backlashes almost a certainty.
But, boy, you can catch fish in the wind, and often a bundle of them.
“Wind pushes plankton toward the bank and gets crawfish active and baitfish moving around,” Kevin VanDam remarked just before we began filming at Table Rock Lake in April. “Even in clear water, fish will come up shallower when it’s windy.”
All of the productive areas we fished that day featured wind-blown flats. Smallmouth, largemouth, spotted bassâ€¦all three black bass species were rockin’ and rollin’ with the plankton and baitfish up on those windy flats!
The Two ‘S’s: Stealth and Simplicity
Wind offers other advantages, too.
Fish aren’t as hard to sneak up on either when it’s windy. Wind breaks up light penetration and helps to cover up visual and auditory signals that might betray the presence of you and your boat.
Finally, wind vastly simplifies lure selection and presentation decisions. Pick up a moving bait like a crankbait, spinnerbait, swimbait, or bladed jig, and start casting and cranking. More often than not, the bass will oblige!
Mike Pehanich is publisher of Mike Pehanich’s Small Waters Fishing website and senior writer for Bassmaster magazine. Check out his features on small waters strategies and his exclusive videos with top pros on tackle and techniques on the Small Waters Fishing website.