By Billy Darby
Everybody knows that wind is simply the movement of air, ranging from a slight breeze to tornadic activity. Anglers would do well to consider the effect this weather related action has on the attitude of and feeding habits of several specific species of fish, but in this article we will concentrate on bass.
In late winter or very early spring when bass are looking for warming conditions, the southern breeze pushes warm surface water into coves, which in turn draws the females into the well documented cruising phase of behavior.
Wind-blown banks are notorious for holding feeding frenzies, especially in the months of May and June, when the shad hatch is in full swing. This shad spawning activity can be easily spotted by watching for an unusual number of herons and other shoreline-feeding birds stacked shoulder to shoulder against the banks and in frantic mode. This activity will normally be in grass that is adjacent to deeper water or clay banks that protrude toward a point. Be like the early bird that gets the shad, or you’ll miss the entire spectacular show.
Throughout the summer months, let’s not forget the mayfly hatches, when the wind is also a major player. Wind pushes larvae and mature flies closer to shore, where bream and other bass prey are having their own little party. Rafts of mayfly husks also afford shade for almost any aquatic creature that might be a meal, especially the rafts that are shoreline oriented. A topwater lure worked right through the middle of these rafts can get very exciting.
June and July are prime months for the bream beds that almost always develop near the shoreline and can be active for extended periods of time. Big bass love to hang out around these beds to wait on easy meals.
The wind and wave action can camouflage your approach to the shallow-water beds. These beds can be easily recognized by setting your Humminbird on side view, looking at no more than 50 feet and scanning only the bank side of your search area until multiple scalloped out dish-like impressions are located. When detected, wait several minutes before returning to the active area, and allow the bed to settle before using a stealthy approach. Even then, skirt the perimeters of the bed with your first few casts.
When the surface temps are at their maximum in July, August and September, all types of plankton-related goodies that inhabit hydrilla, including freshwater shrimp, attract crayfish, shad, small crappie, bream, and you name it, that are blown close to shore by your friend the wind.
Take advantage of the wind. It can be your friend.
Billy Darby is a professional guide on Lake Eufaula. He can be reached at email@example.com or 229-768-2369.