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Spring fishing means working with wind

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Just when things are getting right, extremely right, for hot and heavy spring fishing, the wind starts blowing.

As sure as death and taxes, spring in Arkansas means wind.

The best strategy is to get away from it.

Get in a creek, and the banks will shelter you some or most of the time, suggest anglers with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

When all else fails, when you absolutely cannot get out of the wind, cast low and cast short.

Whether you are using live bait or a lure, by casting close and parallel to the surface of the water, you have less chance of the wind affecting the bait.

If you can reduce a 50-foot cast to 20 feet by quietly moving in closer, there is less wind effect also.

Most anglers keep their casts low, close to the water, when wind is strong.

The wind has less effect on the lure of bait that way in contrast to high, arcing casts.

Those casts can be made with a sidearm throw instead of the usual overhand lob.

In general, fishermen on windy days do better when they can keep the wind behind them -- at their backs. This eliminates the chance of a sudden gust whipping the lure with hooks back into your face.

Wind blowing toward a shore can provide a good spot to try for fish.

Wind means waves that push small bait fish like shad. These are pushed toward a shore or bank, and bass, crappie and other predator fish move in to feed.

In some conditions, a movement of just a short distance can get fishermen away from the worst of the wind.

Move into a cove or up the mouth of a creek, and the angler and boat can be sheltered from wind unless it is coming straight down the cove or creek.

Sometimes wind can be used to an advantage. An example is a crappie fisherman working with several rods. Slowly trolling is a normal technique.

If the wind is blowing in the desired direction, the trolling can be breeze powered instead of electrically powered. An anchor may be needed in wind if the angler wants to stay on one spot.

Anchors for flatbottom fishing boats don't need to be hooks that grab something on the bottom.

An empty coffee can filled with quick-setting concrete with an eye bolt inserted is commonly used.

In a pinch, a gallon-size plastic milk jug with a rope tied on and filled with water makes a workable fishing anchor. Effects of wind can be reduced a little by keeping a lower profile.

The angler who sits on a pedestal seat can move off it and on to a perch nearer the bottom of the boat.

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