Wind changes are very common when fishing, and many times mean having to change certain lures and techniques with the change in direction. Other times it does not make much difference, but what about a day when there are many changes, which is not a normal occurrence?
I’ve encountered many days when the wind has changed direction, and have had to figure out a way to adapt. A solid change is normally preceded by dead calm, or very close before a breeze starts from a new direction. It is often only once, or perhaps twice on this sort of day, but then there are rare times when it has many changes. That is what we will discuss by passing along my experience on such a summer day.
As I arrived at the lake the wind was blowing from the southeast, which quickly changed to the east and east-northeast after the passage of some scattered thunderstorms. It was during this time that I was using Natural Forage Baits’ 4-inch finesse worm called a R4 in the June Bug color on a B-Fish-N 3/16-ounce H2O jig head. I would let it fall to the weeds that were submerged in deeper water, and give it a quick jerk or two, and let it fall. The first fish hit it on the fall before the wind made another switch.
The next wind direction was the east, which is always said to be “fishing is the least.” Well, not if you change with the wind. First I tried going with a different retrieve, but that wouldn’t hack it. Instead I had to switch lures, and go to an NFB RT7, which is a 7-inch ribbon tail worm, and used the green pumpkin color. It was rigged on an Xpoint Xgap hook with a ¼-ounce bullet style sinker, and cast to weeds in the deeper water. The worm would fall into the weeds, and when pulled loose a strike might follow. Bingo — fish again, but not without having to change to a bit of a hop after the wind made a slight direction change to the southeast.
By the time it made a solid southeasterly change I had to think about another lure. First, it was a Stanley Vibra Shaft with NFB Swim Bait as a trailer. However this only worked for one fish, and a few strikes. So, it was time to stop and think about what could be the deal. The process was something that could be swam slowly, like a slow rolled spinnerbait, still have some features of a plastic worm, and be able to go relatively easy over and through thick weeds. The solution was to rig a NFB Jerk Shad on a Daiichi Bleeding Bait Copperhead Hook, giving an application of Kick’n Bass Java in the hook slot area, and swim it along with a steady slow retrieve without jerks.
First cast, and bang, a 17-inch bass. Maybe I was onto something, or was I? I was for a bit, and then the wind went south-south-west, and things slowed down. I picked up the finesse worm again, and had a few hits, but still knew that the Jerk Shad might be the ticket, which it was after changing retrieves again.
The next retrieve was to still keep it swimming, but allow it to sink deeper and give it a few intermittent jerks. That worked until the wind went back to a solid south direction, at which time I got the final fish of the day on the same lure with which I had started — a NFB R4 finesse worm, with a lift and fall retrieve.
As can be seen by this day’s fishing, when the wind changes, and fish slow down or stop biting, go with the flow and start changing baits and/or retrieves. It doesn’t always have to be a drastic change in the technique or lures, and returning to a previously used lure might be just enough to catch a few more fish.
Until next time, get out on the water, and enjoy a great day of fishing.