By Montana Grant

Posted: September 25, 2022

Wind can work with you or against you. Here are some wind friendly ways to improve your fishing success.

Life Saver Balloons    I once fished near a dam that had limited access. I could see fish actively feeding in a corner at one end of the dam. There was no way to cast far enough and then present the bait correctly. The wind was blowing directly where I wanted to fish. Years before I remembered a trick that a friend shared with me. He used a life saver candy threaded onto his line. Attached to the life saver was a balloon on a foot long leader. The rigged and baited hook and sinker were also looped through the candy. I cast the rig as far as I could and allowed the balloon to act as a sail. In a few minutes the balloon wand my rig was in position. Now the candy dissolved and dropped the bait exactly on target. A minute later, I was into a hefty striper.

SEA ANCHORS    Reducing trolling speed is a challenge. The wind is often blowing the boat faster than you need. Run a Sea Anchor off the boats bow. The anchor is simply a large bucket or bag. When these containers fill with water, they create drag that slows the drift. 

You can also stabilize an anchorage using a Sea Anchor off the stern. Once the boat is anchored, position the boat downwind where you want to align the boat. Now deploy the Sea Anchor to give the downwind angle.

Fish shallow in the wind    Wind creates waves which stirs up shallow food. The uneven surface also limits vision of predatory birds. The combination of windy conditions, more food, and no predators invites fish to feed. This can mean better fishing even during mid-day. 

Cast Downwind    Fish with your back, or boat into the wind. The wind will help to carry your fly, spinner, or bait further.  The brim on your hat will also avoid being blown off your head.

Fish Upwind    When bank fishing, consider a point where the wind will be in your face. Cast into the wind and allow the bait to float back towards you. The wind against the shore will be churning up food so the cast does not need to be as far since the fish will be feeding closer. In other conditions, where the wind is opposite, you may want the bait to drift away from you and toward structure. The idea is to allow the wind to help you catch more fish.

Mud Ball indicator    Bank fishing on a windy day can be tough. The line is constantly moving in the wind, and you can’t see the bites. Take a small rubber band and wrap it around the front of the rods handle. Make your cast and tuck a loop of line under the rubber band. This allows you to keep the bail open and free spool. Now take a mud ball, about the size of a grape and stick it onto your line. I usually place the ball between the second and third guides. The weight of the mud ball will create a bite indicator. When you get a windy bite, the mudball will hit the rod and fall off. Close the bail and reel in your windy day catch.

Batten down the hatches and let the wind blow!

Montana Grant

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