In many ways, summer is my favorite time of year for fishing muskies. Though it’s often feast or famine, there are so many things to try, and it’s always challenging and fun.
This is part two of a quick six-pack of fishing solutions that often work for myself and others. We began with night fishing muskie in part part one. Check out the links to the other five fishing solutions at the end of each segment at the bottom of this article.
WIND CONDITIONS ON THE WATER:
This is a big factor any time of year; I should say it can be. Of course there are many variables, an obvious one being lake size and whether or not wind is blowing. If it’s blowing little, it’s not a factor on any lake. But like fishing after dark, for those willing to put in a little extra effort and to know when it can really work for them, sustained wind and the wave action and the current it creates can actually aid anglers.
Basically, when wind is sustained from one direction for a period of time, it can create a two-fold advantageous situation. First, the longer it continues from the same direction, the more it tends to stack up life on the windward shores and sides of mid-lake structures. It will generally bring fish up a little shallower. Wave action creates a bit of chaos and reduces visibility somewhat. It can knock potential prey around a little bit – making them just a little easier to catch. I suspect this is the reason predators often go shallow in larger waves – as this is where they know the prey will be affected. Reduced visibility just seems to make them more apt to make mistakes.
So wind can create a situation that makes daytime fishing more effective (and frankly, nighttime fishing tougher). And like darkness, wave action tends to reduce both recreational and angler effort. Of course, reduced angling pressure on windy spots may be the biggest factor. Regardless, it can work.
Because wind “effects” have been touted heavily by some – many people blindly race to the windy side of the lake, or only fish the windy side of a structure or island. They are expecting “stacked” fish because they are fishing the windy side. Understand that the “effects” take time. If it has been calm for several days and wind starts, the wave action means nothing other than a little chaos and surface disturbance. Let’s say the wind had been blowing for several days from the same direction … calm period … wind shift. Now, running to the windy side is likely a mistake. At least for a period of time, as the positive locational effects of the previous sustained wind don’t immediately dissipate.
So, use wind and wave action with a little thought. Keep those simple basics in mind; consider it more of a potential patterning tool, rather than an absolute (fish the windy side). Boat control in waves is definitely tougher, and can even be dangerous. But if a boat is rigged properly, with a little experience fishing in waves, this ability to fish in them can give you an advantage over other anglers who can’t or won’t.
Part 1: Summer Muskie Drought: Night Fishing
Part 3: Summer Muskie Drought: Fishing the Open Water
Part 4: Summer Muskie Drought: Topwater Presentations
Part 5: Summer Muskie Drought: Speed Trolling
Part 6: Summer Muskie Drought: Fishing Lures
Note: If you have questions or comments on this or other articles of mine you may have read, contact me through the website The Next Bite.