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Waves crashing onto the shore triggers feeding activity. (Submitted photo)

The tricks, and rewards, of fishing yesterday’s wind

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By Gary Korsgaden / For the Enterprise

Wind stirs the aquatic environment that all game fish call home. Anglers wish for the perfect chop knowing it will tip the odds in their favor. Game fish react to the wind feeding on the disoriented baitfish, easy pickings for any predator game fish.

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The past couple of weeks, we have had a lot of wind on our area lakes. The time is characterized by inconsistent weather patterns and a lot of windy days before that first hard killing frost, followed by a time of settled cooling weather.

Wind stirs the bottom and moves the weeds, forcing baitfish out into the waiting mouths of predator game fish.

Walleyes that have been hunkered deep into coon tail patches are flushed out looking for an easy meal. Light shy walleyes are particularly stimulated by wind.

They are moving as shallow as just a few feet along a shoreline, looking for food. In the early years of my fishing I tended to stay away from shallow water walleye instead concentrating on the popular break lines.

Little did I know then that I was missing numbers of walleyes that are easy targets for anything I might want to throw at them!

High winds are dangerous conditions to fish, however, knowing shorelines that had intensive wave action on the days before are good choices the first day or so after a strong blow.

Look for prime windswept shorelines that have a gradual tapering drop-off to deep water. Submerged mid lake islands with a large surface area on top are equally as good, too. Wind and wave action literally turns on the switch, anglers will find walleyes eager to take whatever is put in front of them.

If conditions allow, point the stern of the boat into the wind and waves and slide slowly along, with the stern of the boat in 10’ of water. The partner in the bow is a length of the boat shallower. From the bow location, an angler can make casts up shallow or drift along like the angler in the rear.

It’s similar to painting an area with a broad brush. Jigs tipped with live bait or twister tails and a live bait rig long-lined a distance away from the boat are extremely productive. Anglers fishing from the bow can cast shallow- running crank baits and retrieve them back to the boat too.

Recently, my partner and I took a nice bunch of fish right up against a shallow rocky shoreline. The conditions had two to three footers crashing into a rocky shoreline. I positioned the boat so my partner, from the bow could cast a jig tipped with a four-inch twister tail into inches of water. The fish hit the bait the first few feet of the retrieve from shore.

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