Wind and the effect on inshore fish?

So being a long time bass fisherman particularly one who has focused on clear deep water reservoirs I am a HUGE fan of wind when bass fishing.

While I personally don’t like it or how it feels and how much of a pain in the a** is it to manage my boat around cover (rocks, docks, blow downs, etc) it is a stone cold fact that clear water bass love wind. The reasons are many but I’m confident that because it blows bait around and also provides concealment (just as cloud cover or the darkness of night does) bass fishing is so good in those situations vs blue bird skies and zero wind on deep clear fisheries. In those scenarios we go to deep water techniques (spoons, drop shots, etc) or hunting brush piles with jigs, worms, crank baits, etc…

OK, so here’s my question to you guys. What is (if any) the impact of wind on inshore fishing because I seem to continue having the exact opposite happen to me meaning when it’s clear and bluebird skies and we have had stable weather I have little to no problem catching em shallow or deep but when the fan turns on the bite for me turns off and all of the other reasons I hate wind appear (line management, feel, boat positioning, and of course I hate being cold…).

Would love to hear your thoughts on if wind has any impact at all on saltwater fishing for you guys or if I may just be missing something altogether?

Been catching em on hard jerkbaits, eye strike jigs with various soft plastic trailers, square bill crank baits, lipless crank baits/rattle baits, and even dead sticking a vudu shrimp or what’s the most boring to me of all; using a popping cork (but I am a believer, that thing as boring as it is catches fish).

None of that is working for me in windy conditions inshore or on the jetties so let me hear from you on how you factor wind in or if you simply don’t. Thanks guys.

Chuck D
2018 Pathfinder 2300 HPS
Yamaha 250 SHO

I don’t pay as much attention to the wind when inshore fishing like I would when I’m bass fishing. When bass fishing in lakes/reservoirs, wind generates current (unless of course they’re pulling water through a dam). When inshore fishing, obviously the tide takes care of that. To me, how bait and fish relate to structure and current is everything when inshore fishing. Even on lakes/reservoirs that are power generation lakes, when they start pulling water, the current created by that will supersede current created by wind and it will have a greater impact on how/where bait and fish position themselves.

Fish the current (tide), more specifically the current breaks, and learn/understand how it positions bait and fish and that will do more for your fishing than the wind, in my opinion. I’m not saying I’m right and this is how it works. This is simply how it works for me. I have no doubt (hopefully) someone much more of an authority on the matter than I will be along shortly to set the record straight.

“You don’t always know where you stand till you know that you won’t run away.” ~Slipknot

Because I am restrained to a kayak most of the time, I try to avoid windy days, or I find places that are relatively protected from the wind. Strong winds also mix up the silt and sand and can mess up the clarity (the few times we have clear water). If it is windy, I try to stick to fishing live baits, or throwing popping corks around some structure.

Anything that pulls drag, right?

Really windy days when I have to fish or go crazy I try to find protected spots at low tide. The grass will block the wind make fishing generally easier. My best days are overcast with textured water.

As to your question on wind effecting the inshore bite, I have not had it change anything but pure aggravation with chop and boat maneuverability. I’ve got several creeks that have shelter from the wind that I’ll fish if wind is up. Surf or fish made a good point about low tide and close to the grass.

As to the jetties, I’m not fishing them in windy conditions. Not because of fish not biting, just hate the chop if I don’t have to fight it. :smiley:

I once busted out a bubble gum pink worm and immediately got laughed at, until I brought in six nice trout and a flounder. If you can find it Gumby Gold was a guaranteed go to. :wink:

Certain winds like a northeast wind can change fishing conditions as it relates to water quality as it pushes the tides up higher and tends to muddy the water. If it is blowing up on the areas you are trying to fish it can also make fishing tough. Like Fred said it can make certain places hard to fish due to rough conditions and maneuvering the boat into position. Like Chuck, I would like to hear what some of the anglers much better than I have to say about it.

Wind is good. Very strong wind bad. Most of the time wind brings a change in conditions triggering feeding periods. Nothing changes but presentation for up to about a steady 15 or higher. Once the winds are stronger than 15 its hard to deal with so i fish a area like the down wind side of an island. Wind can effect bait which fish follow, find bait find fish. Slow moving bait like rain bait and small herring and shad that stay in a general area can be blown around or washed out their area. Often surface bait goes deeper or to less impacted areas. So if you always have bait on the northside but its blowing 20 with chop pounding the shore try out deeper where most of the wash and energy from the shore dissipates or follow the current toward the less impacted side because the slow moving bait often does. Its hard for fish to see in bad conditions and bait doesn’t like that unprotected feeling so they usually find better water. Fish will stage at the transition zones looking for disoriented bait. Wind often creates bad visibility conditions, try scented baits with some noise. Popping corks and topwaters work well in mildly windy conditions. The commotion gets the attention and the decreased visibility increases aggressive strikes. Fish dont feel wind and unless its a major pressure change i believe they go by light conditions. Surface conditions like chop lesson light penetration.
Most windy days in the winter are overcast. Overcast is good for fishing for several reasons to me, decreased visibility and it triggers fish to feed because of the change in condition. They know if bad weather holds it can be a tough few days, so they feed hard before hand. If winds holds the water in often the bait and fish stay in with the water.

Good insight guys. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Fred I’m a believer in a pink worm and have caught MANY bedding fish with a weightless zoom trick worm in “bubble gum” rigged weightless/wacky as well as plenty of pre spawn fish. Small mouth bass HATE pink flukes and worms like no other species I’ve ever seen. Seems these trout don’t like em either so I’ll have to give em a whirl.

Lord knows they love a chartreuse and purple back Lucky Craft pointer 78. They have eaten 2 of them to the point where the paint is gone and the bills have broken off. That profile has been magic but in the wind I’ve not been catching much. Will have to give this some more thought as to where I’m setting up and why in those conditions not to mention if I can get relief from fighting the boat and the chop I’m all in on that! Thanks fellas!

Chuck D
2018 Pathfinder 2300 HPS
Yamaha 250 SHO

Some of my best days have been in strong winds. That being said, I tend to avoid windy days just due to the aggravation. If out in strong winds I will choose banks that are sheltered or try to position for casts directly upwind or downwind to manage my line better.

1966 13’ Boston Whaler “Flatty”
2018 Sportsman Masters 207 #predatorsstriketheeye