Wind Factors


Jul 2, 2014
Surrey, ND
Wind Factors

Play The Wind To Put More Fish In Your Boat

WORDS BY DAN JOHNSONFrom walleyes to white bass and lake trout to largemouths, knowing how to play the wind can mean the difference between a banner day and a trip you’d rather forget.
With the exception of dead-calm days, wind is an ever-present factor affecting when, where, and how to fish for a variety of gamefish. And even in breathless conditions, the after-affects of recent gusts can still affect the underwater world.
Wind can make life on the water a pleasure or a nightmare.

Depending on its strength, duration, and your location when it starts to blow, wind can be a blessing or a curse. When you’re trying to stalk close to a streambank and pitch a short cast to a basking trout, wind is your friend because it ripples the surface, making it harder for fish to see you.
Conversely, if you’re caught far offshore in a small craft during a gale, wind can be your worst nightmare. On waters ranging from the massive and unforgiving Great Lakes to shallow, easily windswept inland waters and even canyon reservoirs that act like hard-rock wind tunnels when the breeze blows, wind can make fishing impossible and threaten your life.
To simplify the task of making wind work for you, we’ve assembled the following tips and scenarios.
Walleye Bite Igniters
Whether it shatters a glass-calm surface with a classic walleye chop or whips up a sea of frothy whitecaps, a stiff breeze reduces light penetration, sparking a number of chain reactions beneath the waves.


On the walleye front, it encourages hungry ’eyes to leverage their low-light visual superpowers into a feeding advantage over baitfish. Walleyes that during calm weather held on or near breaklines on the edges of shallow feeding areas charge into skinny water to feed. Adding to the attraction, eddies or circular gyres formed by wind-driven water currents collect plankton and other food items along the windswept bank, attracting baitfish and in turn, larger predators.
Guide Mike Christensen targets wind*driven reverse currents for walleyes on offshore structure.

Offshore, clouds of tiny, light-sensitive zoo- and phytoplankton rise in the water column in response to dwindling daylight. These building blocks of the food chain are often accompanied by an entourage of small baitfish and large predators. When the parade reaches comfortable water temperatures and oxygen levels near the surface, feeding binges of epic proportions can transpire.

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