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Wind giving you trouble when fishing?

Well, along comes old Fishin' Tipster, Weekend Semi-Pro and resident backlash picking champion, with the solution.

Beating Mother Nature At Her Own Game

The cold front had past through, swinging mostly to the north of central Florida. But, even though the rain and dropping temperatures missed us, the winds associated with the front still made their way across the state. As we launched, the winds were 10-12 from the NW. But, we knew that would soon change as the bright sun and clear skies let the air began to warm.

Sure enough, by 10:00 AM, the winds had started to howl. 15 to 25 and gusty is what I think the weather forecast had predicted. And, this time the weatherman was right-on.

But, I just smiled and told the clients to 'trust your guide; we'll catch fish."

From January until the summer starts to set in in mid-May, the eastern side of Florida can be expected to be windy. If it is not from a spring frontal passage, as described above, it will surely be the persistent NE and easterly winds off the Atlantic Ocean. This seasonal condition always occurs, just as God made all those little green apples.

Windy conditions have always been a nemesis for anglers. This can be particularly true on the Farm 13/Stick Marsh impoundment, in that there are no windbreaks - no creeks to go into - no coves to hide from the gusting air. Many just pack it in and go home when the wind howls and the waves roll.

But, fishing guides can't do that. At least, not if they expect to have a happy customer and paycheck at the end of the day. So, guides usually find a way. And, now, you are going to see just how we overcome the winds in Florida. You can do this on your home waters, too.

The first thing I always do before going out is consult the Intellicast Wind Forecast page on then Internet at the link below. Just copy the link and paste it into your browser. (CLICK HERE). I also look at the weather forecast and the looping radar map on the same site for more detail. I can overcome rain. But, it's that darn wind that often makes things hard.

The next thing I do is work out my plan for the day, with a great deal of attention paid to taking advantage of the prevailing winds.

I actually LIKE the wind! It does three things for me: 1) it moves the boat so I don't have to stay on that trolling motor all day; 2) it allows us to cover a LOT of water; and, 3) it puts a chop on the water to greatly reduces light penetration. That means the fish will stay shallow rather than huiding down deep or in the grass to get away from the bright light.

Yep, it is sorta like what the Kindergarten teacher taught us - Mr. Wind is our friends, kiddies.


On the left is the tool we use to make the wind work for us. This remarkable device is well known to saltwater anglers and those freshwater types who work large waters. But, the average fisherman usually hasn't been exposed to it. It may be called a drift sock, a sea anchor, or any number of other descriptors.

All one has to do is attach it to a front or rear cleat on the boat and this little jewel will slow a boat to nearly a crawl, even in 25 MPH winds. And, a remarkable thing is that the boat will actually set in a perpendicular position to the wind. That allows shiners to be trailed behind (on the upwind side) the boat, or the anglers to fish artificials off the downwind side. If the winds are from the right direction, you can also slowly fish along a shoreline or grass edge using this device.

The right picture is a harness and buoy assembly for the drift sock. Unless your sock comes with this, you will need to get it, also. The float will keep the sock floating in the event is comes loose from the boat.

I suggest you try Cabelas catalog first for a drift sock. The Cabelas store brand is as good as they get and the price is right. In fact, it used to come with the harness and float included.

That's it. Sports fans. That's how we beat the spring winds on the Stick Marsh. It works like a charm for us and it will for you, too.

And, someone said fishing wasn't educational!!

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Pete and Tina Heinz / 9 South Mulberry St. / Fellsmere, FL 32948 / 772-571-9855

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