When it comes to bass fishing, wind can bring about some aggressive feeding, which is something we all love. Adjusting our methods and techniques can lead to anyone catching more bass during windy conditions and these days can easily be more productive than the glassy days. This guide will give an in-depth look on why bass may feed more aggressively in windy conditions, what lures work best, and which areas are the most productive in wind.
Let’s be honest, all of us love a glassy day on the water - being able to see any sort of topwater action tempts us to pull out a frog and try to get a reaction of the most dramatic kind. However, these glassy days can be few and far between and more often than not - we’re dealing with wind.
Wind can be an hugely positive factor when it comes to bass fishing as it can play a massive role in activating bass when it comes to feeding and moving in general. Rather than letting a windy day ruin our day on the water, rather think about the potential benefits it may bring.
“There are very few times that I want to get away from the wind” - Kevin VanDam
Pros of Bass Fishing in the Wind
Wind has the capability of bringing about a whole lot of favorable bass activity, which is why we should be using it to our advantage, rather than letting it negatively impact our time on the water. Here are some key benefits wind brings about:
Wind brings about a reduction in solar penetration, causing Phytoplankton to rise closer to the surface, which then brings about Zooplankton to rise - the ideal food for baitfish. These baitfish rising nearer to the surface to feed results in bass joining them, but they’re not eating the Zooplankton. This essentially means that wind can activate bass and their feeding
Bass are known as low-light feeders, and as mentioned in the last point - wind reduces solar penetration, causing less light in the water
Waves created by wind can accelerate the oxygenation of water, which helps give bass an energy boost. This makes bass more active when it comes to feeding and moving in general
Wind can play a role in dispersing shoals of baitfish, and a solo rider is a lot more vulnerable than a shoal of plenty
The crashing of waves against a bank/shore can create quite a noise - but bass eventually get used to it, meaning that they’ll be harder to spook as they become used to unnatural loud noises and vibrations
Another absolute key benefit of bass fishing in the wind, is the camouflage that it brings about. The imperfection of our lures is less obvious when water is choppy, and our chance of a bite increases for sure if a bass comes across our bait
One myth is that wind blows baitfish around, this isn’t true and baitfish won’t be ‘moved’ by the wind
Best Bass Lures in Windy Conditions
One should definitely consider lure selection more heavily when the wind is blowing hard. Rather than conventional techniques, start thinking about the following lures that are proven to catch bass on windy days:
Spinnerbaits: Without a doubt the most popular lure to turn to when the wind is getting ugly, a ½ ounce or ¾ ounce spinnerbait with a natural shade and a willow blade will imitate a baitfish beautifully in choppier conditions, while giving heavier vibrations and eye catching flash. A faster and steady retrieve works best
Chatterbaits: A heavier chatterbait will also attract the eye of a feeding bass. Having a heavier lure will also be easier to feel in the water during windy conditions. The blade on the chatterbait also creates the necessary vibration and flash that will catch bass’s attention in choppy conditions
Rattling Crankbaits: Throwing loud, rattling crankbaits can often get a fierce reaction out of bass, especially when casting at windward shorelines
Lipless Crankbaits: As bass move to shallower water when heavier wind, lipless crankbaits will become a weapon, These are great to cast into the wind, and it’s tight action will be attractive to any baitfish feeding bass
Jerkbaits: These are great for fishing shallower water, and jerkbaits are also well known for getting plenty of cold water bites
Where to Fish for Bass in the Wind
It can be a confusing time to fish when the wind is pumping, and most of the time we’ll look for the most protected area, where it's pleasant to fish. However, this may not be the right call, due to the benefits which wind brings. As Kevin VanDam says: “I’m always looking for the wind”. Rather than avoiding it, embrace it and fish the following kinds of areas:
Move to shallower areas: Plankton rising will cause baitfish to rise as well, ultimately resulting in bass also moving closer to the surface.
Find windy points and banks: This is often where you’ll find baitfish feeding and therefore bass. Look for these kinds of points rather than the most protected area.
Look for banks that were made murky: Notice banks that have become murky or muddier from the wind, and fish these spots once they start to clear up.
Keep fishing the usual structure: Bass will still hang around underwater structure, so keep fishing these areas. However, rather than fishing protected structure (no wind), look for structure where there’s some chop and exposure to the wind.
Face the wind with your boat: This will give you the chance to have way more control of your boat, and you’ll be able to fish an area more extensively. Casting may be more difficult, but it may be wiser to use heavier applications.
Too many weekend anglers are getting put off by a windy day on the water. Wind can bring about some seriously favorable action from bass, so rather than canceling a day on the water, adjust your techniques and take on the wind. Being able to fish in different weather conditions not only means we can fish more, but it’ll also broaden our skills as a bass angler in general.
Gear can also play a key role when it comes to fishing in the wind. Heavier applications are ideal as they are less vulnerable to wind. Have a look at some of the lines that we've reviewed, as well as our rod reviews.
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