The wind can be an anglers friend or foe. It all depends solely on the angler's perspective and his/her situation.
Shoreline anglers options become somewhat limited when the wind is blowing and howling, but it also narrows down the search area for anglers to focus on since not all shoreline areas are productive when the wind howls. Indeed, some only shine when the wind blows from a certain direction.
Boating anglers can get around a lot of major wind pitfalls, provided the waves aren't too extreme. Exercising sound safety is paramount.
Smaller waves can be overcome and can produce some of the finest fishing around particularly in the realm of the walleye. You can have a picture perfect day and the walleyes are a tough bite. Throw in a smattering of wind and viola, the walleyes are on the move, active and hungry.
Why do walleye bite in the wind? The wind breaks up the waters surface which in turn breaks up the light that is capable of entering the depths. The rolling motion of the wind pins and disorientates baitfish along specific areas. Then the walleyes move in for the kill. Pure predatory instinct that not only showcases survival of the fittest, but reduces the amount of energy expended to capture a meal. The easier the better for all game fish.
Taking my boat out for its maiden voyage was yet another case in point. Local lake with a 12 foot flat bottom. Wind was coming from the south at a pretty steady clip. I woke up and almost scrapped the day because I wasn't sure how the lake would be.
Pulling up to the lake, I was pleased to find only minor waves and a bright sunny day. I knew I could find my walleyes shallow with water like this. In the course of a few hours, using Tantrums new Weedwitch and leeches, I pulled out some nice walleye, catfish, and a bonus monster grass carp.
The overall key was to position the boat that best complimented my casts and retrieves. This was accomplished by positioning the anchor on a long tether to various positions in the boat. When one area got lackluster, I simply moved the rope to another point along the boat and the steady wind moved the boat for me to a new area. I didn't even have to turn on the trolling motor to get to a new spot, thus I spooked less fish.
However, this wouldn't work if you were trying to fish a particular spot. In situations like this, two anchors are necessary to hold the boat in position exactly where it needs to be.
So how does any angler know what spots are going to shine and not fizzle?
Easy enough. I look for disparate features along the shoreline e.g. points, coves, wingdams, natural barriers etc. Anything different could be the key to hold fish. Weedlines are dynamite when the wind blows into them, because they form a natural barrier. The outside edge, or the edge facing towards deeper water are the primary spots to focus. An angler can narrow everything down a bit further by looking for differences in the weedline itself. A narrow but lush weedline indicates a steeper bottom contour whereas a wider lush or sparse weedline usually indicates a gently sloping bottom.
Inside turns of weed edges are beautiful areas to try when the wind blows directly into them. Pitch a variety of lures to take bass or walleye. Soft plastics, spoons, smaller cranks or tubes like Charlie Cases salted tubes are perfect for situations like this. Don't overlook spinner baits, particularly inlines like the ones you can make with Premium Lures Kits. Customize them on the spot to match the available forage or to your own specifications. You can't beat that versatility, and as you all know, versatility will put more fish in your livewell.