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FLW's Pro Tips: Mark Rose

Whipping the Wind

A strong, gusting wind can really have a negative effect on fishing. If you’re sight-fishing, fishing drop-shots or fishing targets in clear water that you need to see, wind definitely works against you. It affects the action of a lure, your ability to feel the bait and how you present it.

There are ways to neutralize the wind a bit. For one thing, you can reposition your boat so you’re casting directly into the wind or with the wind, depending on your target and how the fish want the bait to be coming by them.

If you’re throwing a 1/2-ounce bait with good aerodynamics – say, a small crankbait – casting into the wind won’t be that big a deal. If you’re throwing a big crankbait or a spinnerbait that tends to helicopter when it catches the wind and cause backlashes, you’ve got to find another place out of the wind where you think you can catch some fish, reposition on the spot so that you’re at least not casting into or across the wind, adjust the brake on your reel and shorten your casts so you can cast upwind, or tie on another bait that doesn’t catch the wind so much and doesn’t tend to spin.

Whatever you do, keep your line as low to the water as you can, whether you’re casting or retrieving. An underhanded roll-cast is better here. You won’t get as much distance, but it will help keep your line low to the water and more out of the wind. Also, you’re loading the rod tip and straightening the lure out so it will tend to fly truer rather than spin.

Having said all that, the wind can be your friend. Wind can cover the pinging sound your electronics make, or muffle the noise your trolling motor makes. It also can give some lures a more natural and lifelike appearance. Wind, rain, heat, whatever – it’s just another environmental factor that you have to learn to live with. If the fish are biting, don’t let the wind bother you. Just alter your approach as you have to and keep on fishing.

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