Greetings from Port Mansfield. What a winter! Now spring has sprung and it’s coming on fast. It only takes a couple of sunny days to get folks motivated and out on the water.We have already seen an uptick in boat traffic and I bet it is not going to lighten up anytime soon. We are coming off boat and fishing show season and, from what I have heard, the shows were all better than expected.
As many of you know, this is the time of year Mother Nature greases the bearings in her fan and uses quite a good lubricant. I’m unsure what kind it is but I would love some for my reels; just joking. Years ago, I frowned harder on windy days than I do now. Not to say that high winds are not frustrating, but it just doesn’t take the wind out of my sails as badly as it once did. I have learned to deal with it because I have to, and I’ve even learned to work the wind to my advantage…some days.
Let’s take a quick look into the positives and negatives of strong wind. On the positive side, it creates current, which can influence the movement of bait and gamefish. A point jutting from shore, coupled with high winds, can cause a stacking effect for bait and gamefish, as they are pushed by the wind against the point. Next is a cove that can provide a lull or slack current for bait and gamefish. Let’s consider all three scenarios.
Your approach to the positives - Set up on the windward side of a point, approach slowly making long casts (another benefit of wind), and work your bait slowly at first and increase speed and rod tip action if you do not get strikes. From there, work over and on top of the point and then into the cove or leeward side. By approaching in this manner you have covered three key areas in fishing a point during high wind. The windward side, the point itself, and the leeward side.
Now the negatives – It’s just too windy, and the bay looks like chocolate milk. Or your anchor doesn’t hold, your Power Pole(s) do not stick, or three drift socks will not slow you down. Well folks, there’s your sign; call it a day.
In Port Mansfield, once we get over 35mph the bay starts to fall apart. We can deal with 20-30mph winds most of the time (depending on direction). But 35mph-plus, not so much. One other thing that comes with high winds is what I call fisherman frustration. Anglers simply get frustrated with the wind and give up and go home. For the record, I too get frustrated, but it usually takes wind above 35mph.
The most important piece of advice in this article, dealing with high winds, is boating safety. If it’s windy enough to rattle your confidence in your ability to navigate safely, it might be best to wait for a calmer day. Only you know this.
So, what kind of lures to use in high winds? I rarely use a finesse lure, I need something that can get the fish’s attention. If floating grass is not a big problem I will try a loud topwater – She Dog, One Knocker, or full-size Spook. I will be using a KWigglers 4-inch paddletail, without a doubt. This plastic puts off such a vibration you can feel it in the reel seat of your rod. I know if I can feel it thumping along the fish can pick up on it – even in muddy water.
From there I will try the Willow Tail in darker colors and make short twitches with the rod tip to really get the tail flip-flopping. This also draws a good response from fish in muddy water conditions. Since we are already dealing with higher spring winds, we have been throwing Plum-Blue Metal Flake with Cool Tip, Electric Grape with Chartreuse, and Pumpkinseed Chartreuse in the 4-inch paddletails.
In closing I want to thank everyone who came out to the recent seminars, boat shows and fishing shows. I enjoyed visiting and am truly thankful for every one of you. Other honorable mentions go to Fishing Tackle Unlimited, Simms Fishing, AFTCO, Costa Sunglasses, Shallow Sport Boats, Power Pole, Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine, and especially my wife who doesn’t give me one ounce of a hard time for fishing so much.Until next time, good fishing and be safe and courteous on the water.