By Joey Monteleone
Jackson Kayak Fishing Team
If you asked a group of hardcore kayak anglers their least favorite natural force, the resounding answer would likely be “the wind!” Our breezy nemesis creates multiple problems: boat control, casting, feeling what the bait is doing, security of paddles and poles all enter into the equation.
First, I always believe you can’t beat Mother Nature or cheat Father Time. The top notch anglers learn to work with what they are presented with in all the forms of nature’s influences. There exist a wide variety of potential scenarios that you face before you paddle off into your favorite bass waters.
Cold /hot water, clear or muddy water, bright or cloudy skies, falling or rising water, leaves from the autumn shedding of shoreline trees, heavy surface choking aquatic vegetation — all these conditions can be viewed as problematic. If you let conditions stop you, it’s likely that you would never lip a largemouth.
Let’s focus strictly on wind, which can vary from a slight ripple to white caps on the water’s surface. Mechanically you can use kayak technology answers like the Micro Power Pole. In current or wind the Power Pole will stabilize your yak and allow you the stability to work an area until you are satisfied with your results. Drag chains, another option, can be a simple system and use the existing anchor trolleys on many models of boats. Great for stopping or slowing your drift and retracted when not needed, chains and anchors are a relatively simple, low cost solution.
In all cases, working within the parameters of wind also calls for an adjustment in lure selection and the presentations you employ.
Wind will muddy the water of the banks onto which it blows. The breezes, regardless of velocity, will also alter the amount of light penetrating the water. Both of these conditions can be countered with my favorite windy weather lure selection, the spinnerbait.
When the wind blows, pick up a spinner and head to the wind-blown bank. I highly recommend the use of a 3/8-ounce willow/Colorado spinner to create flash while also easier to work in the wind.
Crankbaits can also be cast and retrieved with few ill effects, especially if you don’t try to cast into the wind.
If you are a jig or soft plastic bait fan take heart. Heavier lead or head makes casting easier.
If you can keep the breeze at your back it reduces the bow in your line, if not, lay the rod down parallel to the water’s surface right after the cast and you have a good chance of reducing the windy loop that minimizes your ability to maintain full contact with your offering.
Learn to use the wind and, yes, even work with the wind and you’ll find yourself fighting fish instead of the wind. Yes paddlers, you CAN whip the wind!