Battling wind can be worth effort

March 16, 2013

I don’t know about you, but my recent trips to the lake happenned to land on days where the wind has been strong. Fishing in the wind requires a lot more effort, but if you stay focused you can put fish in the boat.

I normally try to avoid getting on the water with wind speeds greater than 15 mph. Many times the forecasted winds are much stronger than predicted (North Texas weather is hard to predict). If you are out on the water and trying to make the best of the windy conditions, you will have to work a little harder controlling the boat, but persistence will and can pay off.

Anchoring in the wind is a good option, and may be your best option at times. Most lakes have sufficient bottom structure to anchor, but some areas on many lakes may be difficult to stick an anchor, especially in substantial winds.

Lake Benbrook, for instance, on the northwest side has a solid rocky bottom, and getting an anchor to stick can be a chore. You might need several hundred feet of rope out before the anchor will catch, and you may have to try several times.

Whether you get an anchor out or not, you will have work hard in the wind. If you are using the trolling and leave the trolling motor for a second to land a fish, the boat will be blown off course. It is a good idea to toss a buoy marker as soon as you locate some fish or structure that you want to work so you can keep a good reference point.

Having a strong trolling motor is a plus if you are not going to anchor. I use a 10-pound thrust on my 24-foot craft that does the job even in 20-25 mph winds. The new GPS-controlled trolling motors will hold you on your spot in some wind, but there are limits to every trolling motor.

Though I do not want to be on the water in during high winds, it is nice to know that you can stay on your course with your equipment.

Fishing in the wind can be dangerous as well. Working on the bow with waves bouncing you around can knock you out of the boat.

I have noticed over the years that drastic ups and downs while fishing in the wind can affect the bite. If your bait is bouncing hard just due to boat rising and falling in the waves, this is not natural, and if the bite is finicky, the predators may resist biting.

If this happens to be the case on the water, work your presentations off the back of the boat where the ups and downs are less than on the bow (if you have your nose pointed into the wind). This can make a difference.

If you are on the bow, try keeping your bait/presentation from being impacted by the ups and downs of the boat. This may require you to move your rod tip opposite the boat movement.

The only reason to fish in the wind or on a windy area is, of course, if that is where the fish are located. It is desirable to locate a wind break or protected area where there are fish to catch and where you won’t be beaten up by the wind.

However, many times the fish are usually on those windy points, and you will have to take on the wind’s challenge to get your bait where it will work best.

When the wind has been out of a certain direction for a while, the wind blown points are likely candidates for finding active fish. Winds will stir up the water and oxygen and bait fish will congregate in these areas – and the predators will not be far behind.

Another technique when fishing in the wind it to use a drift sock or two to slow the drift of the boat. This is a great alternative as you can slow your presentation down and work a large area. This is especially effective this time of the year and later when the water warms and active fish are willing to chase the bait/presentation.

Once feeding fish are located you may want to stop and work that area or you can go back and drift over the area repeatedly.

We all wish for those beautiful days with light winds and active fish, but in reality those don’t necessarily show their face too often. Actually, a little chop on the water with cloud cover can make for a better fishing day.

Really high winds on the water can take the fun out of the trip and they can be dangerous. When lake advisories are out, it is best to stay off the water.


We appreciate the rain, but we need much more. Water temperatures rose some and then fell back with the last cold snap. Surface temperatures are near 60.

Sand bass action is reported best on the lower ends. Black bass fishing near major creek entrances has been fair to good to 7 pounds on soft plastics.

Squaw Creek is hosting numerous largemouth bass tourneys, and anglers are catching numbers of fish on soft plastics. The surface temperature on this power plant lake varies greatly from the hot water outlet to the slightly cooler water on the upper ends. Catches have been reported all over.

Possum Kingdom striped bass and sand bass are good on soft plastics and rattle traps near mid lake and near the dam. Stripers to 18 pounds can be caught on swimbaits and rattle traps tossed into feeding fish.

Hybrids have been excellent on Lewisville on slabs and sassy shad presentations under the birds. The spring feed is occurring on most area reservoirs, including Benbrook, Bridgeport and Lake Proctor. Time to get out and wet a line.

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Category: Sports Archived