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Article 26 - Wind and Calm #13603247 06/21/20 10:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 16,749
Donald Harper Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 16,749
Article 26 – Wind and Calm

In my 60 years of fishing in adverse conditions; I have seen it all and caught fish in it all. Many of us have fished in heavy wind making it very difficult to get around the lake to your next spot. We have fished in rain, snow, sleet and yes, even lighting. During the heat of the Summer with no wind at all is the most miserable I have ever been. Thank God for one of my sponsors, Elete, to keep me hydrated. When a Blue Northern blows in with wind and heavy rain, that even the best Gore-Tex Suit will not stop it; we still had to figure something out. We all have those stories. This article discusses the areas and techniques for just the average amount of wind at 15 mph for Texas and where to go when there is hardly a ripple on the water to catch fish. The question which is the best day; windy or calm? I have caught big stringers on both days; but the older we get, calm water with just a ripple makes for a nice day of fishing even if you you don’t catch anything.

Wind:
It’s a nice day with light breezes which does a lot for the Bass and getting closer to them. The wind blown shorelines produce because of plankton being push to the area, more oxygen saturation, bait fish coming in for the plankton and the Bass following the bait fish. Turn your attention toward the seasonal pattern where the fish are suppose to be. Work the shallows in the back third of the creeks and spawning flats in the Spring. Follow the Shad spawn afterwards during late Spring, Keep that 20 to 30 foot of water close by after the spawn and throughout the Summer months. Then in the Fall the cycle returns to the shallow flats and in the back half of the same coves or creeks. Finding the food sources and higher levels of oxygen will put you on the fish. A good breeze will break the surface image allowing you to get better positioning on the Bass for shorter cast. Bass feel much safer in the shallows with the wind moving any cover that they are ambushing from. With some movement of grass and bushes sitting on your area; you will be able to get up close and personal.

This question keeps coming up. How do I fish these areas? This is in reference to going directly to the cover or wind blown shoreline. Bass move around in the cover daily from one ambush spot to the next using the available cover. You may find them positioned differently from day to day. Being able to position the boat in heavy cover can become a challenge with the wind blowing and many times you have to take what you can get. Being able to fish into the wind as you maneuver through the obstacles is a great help. Having spot lock and power poles will help even more when you cannot allow the wind to push you on top of the fish. Most of the time Bass will position facing into the wind for the easy meal; but that is not always the case when fishing heavy cover with the wind blowing into the back of a cove. The ambush spot over rides wind positioning the farther back you get in a cove or creek. One day you can cast directly to the bank and bring your spinner bait back to the boat on straight away cast to shore. The next day you will have to have that 45 degree angle to get their attention. The first thing I always do is stay close to the cover and fish parallel with it, looking for the big fish that are positioning so they can escape toward the channel. After working the outer edge move in to make a little longer cast directly to the bank in less than a foot of water and bring the bait through the cover between you and the boat. Lastly I work through the cover looking for the small openings to get the boat through and make the 45 degree cast to the bank ahead of the boat. This gives you the angle to cover a little more of the shoreline depths and coming into contact with the fish that are facing into the wind. When I answer this question above; never leave it to chance. Do it all in a wind blown area until you develop the pattern that the Bass are relating to.

When fishing the secondary points and the main lake shoreline always fish into the wind. These fish are positioned to receive bait coming at them. I use the same approaches as above with just a few modifications. Fishing open areas is part of my system to cover the whole spectrum of the irregular contours form 20 ft. of water to the shallows with out disturbing the bait and the Bass feeding on them. Developing A System will be one of the articles coming up to explain this farther. You are making long search cast from the front of the boat covering all angles of the shoreline contours that involves gouges and protrusions. These produce the irregular features that bass ambush from in more open water. I learned a long time ago that you cannot do anything to change the conditions dealt you. This is why we develop our own fishing techniques to work with the conditions to put the odds in our favor.

Calm Water:
Fishing can really get tough when a lake is slick. The surface becomes a mirror for the fish to see and hear everything that is going on around them. You have no camouflage to help you that the wind provides. Following my system from 20 ft of water really helps in the open areas on the main lake. Looking for the staging fish is the job of the man in the back of the boat dragging the C-rig while the man up front is making the long search cast to the shallows for feeding fish. These fish are spooky of your presents and will retreat if threatened. In fishing the shallows during the early Spring you will notice that the bite is good with wind; but let that stop and things change drastically. They are spooky and more aware. Bass hold tighter to cover for shade. Stay back and learn to make longer pitches to the cover with fishing in the back of coves or creeks. Throw baits as real as possible; but down sizing will not usually help. Switching from a lighter color to darker colors and form a spinner bait to a chatter bait may be the ticket. Cover more of the outside edges allowing you to fish faster along the cover without making yourself visible to the fish. Using faster baits like swim jigs and the chatter bait breaking quickly form shaded areas to the sunlight helps because the fish do not have time to get a good look at the bait. Above all when fishing with no wind, it is important to be quite. I turn off the Depth finders when trying to fish heavy cover and when fishing the open water just use the maps with GPS to stay on contour. Getting stuff out of your compartments is even a noise maker. I keep everything that is needed in my backpack attached to the front pole seat which allows for less noise to get a bait or change something. Now is the time when a Hydrowave might come in handy to produce some blocking sounds, giving the fish something to hear that they are use to, instead of hearing the noises of your presents.

Favorite Technique and Presentation:
I have seen many times what can happen with the bite that is excellent in the back of a cove when the wind dies. Let the wind die and the bit goes with it. You always have a choice to stay and work the information above or go to deeper areas. I have a list of all the areas on the lake that are on my GPS that do not get fished when there is heavy wind. These are the places that I try to get to as quickly as possible to take advantage of fish that have not been pressured as often. Most of these are deep water Creek and River Slams connecting to the best irregular contours on the lake. My favorite technique is to fish Up-Hill with the lake slick or Windy. I have not seen much difference in the catching under either condition. My larges stringer of 5 fish came on Falcon on a very calm day. We just clipped up to the last tree on a drop in 15 ft of water. With No-Wind being quite is the greatest factor in any presentation on a calm day. I carry a real anchor in the boat to position the boat in the shallows and turn off all electronics when there are no trees to clip up to allowing this up-hill presentation. You are fan fishing with long cast out toward deep water. Big fish have been caught on both the C-rig and T-rig. Bass feed looking up-hill; so this is a technique that goes against most fisherman’s presentations of bringing the baits down the slopes. Bass absolutely hate any critter sneaking up behind them or dropping in on them from about as was mentioned in the Deep Grass Article. Fish very slowly as you bring the bait up behind the fish on the ledge or steep slope. This is a super reaction bite when they turn quickly and strike so viciously. It is very similar to getting dog bit when you try to pet him without first introducing your intentions. Hold tight to your rod and don’t fall asleep or you may loose a good piece of equipment.

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Re: Article 26 - Wind and Calm [Re: Donald Harper] #13603676 06/22/20 04:21 AM
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Some good information there! Nice post and thanks for sharing. thumb


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Re: Article 26 - Wind and Calm [Re: Donald Harper] #13607464 06/25/20 12:33 PM
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Another good article Don. I rarely get in shallower water and throw to the deeper water with the wind in my face blowing in. I see most fisherman going around a point or parallel the shoreline casting towards the shallow water. I will try to find those opportunities and give uphill a try in that situation.


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Re: Article 26 - Wind and Calm [Re: Donald Harper] #13607557 06/25/20 02:03 PM
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Good info!! I know I would rather fish a day thats a little to windy than one thats dead flat water.

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