Bass Fishing for most of us is done on the weekends or when we can sneak an appointment to see the Dr. Ramp. So for the most part we are at Mother Nature’s mercy when it comes to weather condition. We all know the spring brings about some of the best bass fishing we will have throughout the year; unfortunately, spring also brings about strong winds and rapidly changing weather conditions. Fishing windy conditions is a matter of adjustment, not only in equipment and bait choice but also in mental attitude.
Your bait choices need to change to reaction type baits or heavy weighted, soft plastics and jigs; simply because any finesse or top water presentation is probably gone or impossible to feel a strike with. I personally switch over to reaction baits. My number one choice when the wind gets bad is to tie on a double willow spinnerbait and start covering windblown banks. I look for banks that the wind is actually blowing at an angle on so that it will be creating current along the bank instead of just crashing waves up on it. I then position myself on the downwind side so that I will be casting into the wind. This creates a better presentation to the fish; they will be looking for bait that is active as it’s blown down the bank.
Casting into the wind can be difficult and bait choice is important to reduce backlashes. I know many folks that will go with very large bladed spinnerbaits, to me this is trouble that will happen! Those big blades catch the wind during casts and can almost completely stop your bait in mid air, but your spool isn’t going to stop. We’ve all been there done that. I like to use a double willow leaf spinnerbait in at least a half ounce model. Using #3 and #4 (sometimes 4.5) size blades, I have found that it will cast well in the wind and the double willows create a lot of flash that can really trigger some explosive strikes.
If I can’t get bass to eat the spinnerbaits, I will tie on a jig in half to three quarter size. I will trim most of the skirt off, back to the hook bend, and use a trailer that has a lot of action. On windy banks, I like baits to have a lot of action. Bait fish and crawdads are going to be stirred up and active, so an active presentation will better match what’s happening below the surface. First I will swim it past cover and along structure to get reaction strikes. If bass don’t jump all a swimming jig, you might be in trouble? But slow it down and crawl it along the bottom and see what happens.
If all else fails I tie on a large worm with a minimum of a three eights ounce weight. I like ribbon tail worms; this creates a lot of action. First I will swim it. I like to cast it to the bank or past cover and retrieve it just off the bottom with a steady crank. If that will not work, I’ll go with the traditional lift and drop presentation.
And finally if I still haven’t found a pattern, I’ll find me a wind protected pocket and have a bottle of water and a snack to rethink what’s going on. Fishing in this type of conditions can really wear on you physically and mentally. We all tough through the physical side but the mental side most of us don’t know it’s happening. You have to stay focused to be able to detect strikes. Also, fishing in strong winds creates casting problems, backlashes, hang ups, and loosing balance in the boat. This is just part of it, don’t get upset or frustrated just know that it’s going to happen and part of fishing in the wind. If you can accept that, your day will still be enjoyable. If you employ some of the things I’ve talked about, you should catch a few bass and save a the day. Remember fishing above all else is FUN!!
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