How Wind Affects Fish

  • Wind is your friend. With a few exceptions it’s nearly always easier to catch fish on days with at least a little breeze than on days that are glassy still. Wind ripple on the surface and mudlines along shores enable predatory fish to move into shallow water and hunt without becoming prey themselves.
  • Wind can accumulate warmer water, can oxygenate water, stir up food items, create currents and pressure points, mask unnatural noises and with a little knowledge and thought can often tell the astute angler when the fish are likely to be and how they’re likely to behave.
  • Windy days also tend to drive the weekend warriors off the water, which means less boat traffic and commotion and quite likely happier fish. 
  • The common fishing saying “no run means no fun” is very often true and is usually applied to tidal flow, river flow and so on. Many anglers don’t realise that wind can create significant current in places where tide and river flow don’t create water movement, such as shallow bays and estuaries, flats, lakes and dams, inlets and so on – especially if there is a large expanse of water over which the wind can blow. 
  • Analysing wind-driven currents, along with tidal and river flow currents cant tell you not only where fish are likely to be, but how they could be behaving and which way they might be facing. This can make it easier to present a lure in ways that can make it more likely to be taken.
  • Although many believe that wind from certain directions can put fish off the chew, it’s more likely that fish can still be caught if the angler changes their approach.

Greg’s Tips For Fishing In Wind

  • If the water is cool, look for places where wind pushes warmer surface water that creates micro-habitat where fish are comfortable. If the water is warm, understand that a wind that pushes even more warm water might make conditions too hot for fish, depending on the species and their tolerances. 
  • Finding sheltered places to fish out of the wind can make things more comfortable but usually results in less fish being caught. Instead, look for areas where the wind makes life better for the fish and then find ways to fish them.
  • For boat and kayak anglers, positioning yourself for wind assisted casts will reduce wind knots, increase stealth, and give maximum chances of being where fish are. Remember that currents don’t always flow the same direction as the wind is blowing and think about where fish might be positioned.
  • For shore-based anglers, look for shorelines that have complex shapes that result in the wind hitting the edges at different angles. Think about the way currents position fish and look for opportunities for wind assisted casts that will put your lure in front of, rather than behind, fish. Avoid being tempted to stand on a jetty with the wind to your back and cast into deep water. Remember that the action is often in the shallows during a big blow. 
  • To reduce the chances of wind knots, cast with the wind as much as possible. If it’s necessary to cast into wind, ensure your reel is not over filled with line, avoid casting your FG knot through the guides, feather the line off the spool as the lure is in flight, and stop line coming off the spool the instant the lure lands. 
Greg "Doc Lures" Vinall

Greg "Doc Lures" Vinall

Podcast Host, Lure Maker, Scientist, Educator

Greg has hosted the Australian Lure Fishing Podcast since it started in January 2019. When he’s not playing podcast host, he’s a qualified environmental scientist, lure making educator and tragic lure fisher.

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