It has been a cold spring here in the north, though spring still has a lot of fish in a pre-spawn feeding frenzy. One thing we always seem to be dealing with in West Michigan is the wind. Being so close to Lake Michigan, it seems like it just always blows no matter what the forecast. I’ve got two choices; either hide from it or use it to my advantage.
Anytime there’s an environmental condition that I can use to my advantage I’m all in. One thing wind does at all times of the year is break up the surface. This disruption makes it harder for them to detect your presence and harder for them to decipher whether they are about to bite a lure or a prey item. Fish will be less spooky and more relaxed, increasing the odds for getting a bite out of a particular fish.
Fish are also going to use the wind to their advantage. It’s easier for them to hide from prey, and puts them in feeding mode, which is a good thing if you’re fishing. One thing to always remember about bass is that they are lazy and wait for windows of opportunity to feed and wind-driven currents create one of those windows.
Something that particularly pertains to pre-spawn is the fact that wind will push warmer surface water around and stack it in certain areas. Warmer water is almost always a good thing right now. Bass and baitfish are both going to seek out these areas creating a great situation to catch a bunch.
It really can be as simple as picking the windblown side of the lake, putting the trolling motor down, and winding a reaction bait until you find them. If all else fails and you never come across the mega school, you will definitely get some bites doing that. However, you’ll want to key in on some high percentage areas though to really dial them in. A few of my favorites are funnels into spawning areas, a small turn of deep water close to the bank, and man-made vertical structure like deep seawalls and riprap. Those places create a small space where bass and prey items intersect and feeding frenzies occur.
Once you locate these areas they will usually produce year after year under the same conditions. Pay close attention to the wind forecast and hit those lakes when the wind is blowing on those areas. Next time you hit the lake this spring don’t be afraid to battle the wind, and big pre-spawn bass will be waiting for you.