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wasabi_VA

Max wind you will go fish in?

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I either fish out of my 8' Bassbaby or my 10' kayak. The wind has been my nemesis a lot lately with several days recently having 15+ mph days. Often it makes me so mad while I fight it that I just wish I had stayed home, other times (less likely) I just make the best of it but still struggle constantly with boat position and casting.

 

Just curious if you have a max forecasted wind you will go fishing in? Today I'm expecting 12 to 14 mph all day and wondering if I should subject myself to it. A little voice inside my head says 'Go...go...the bite should be picking up' but another little voice says 'the wind is going to make you regret coming out'

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I believe I asked this same question a few years back when I was fishing out of my tin.  Back then, I definitely had a max wind thresh hold...and it was about 10 - 15 MPH...depending on the direction it was coming from.  On the Harris Chain there are a few oblong / tall shaped lakes where an E or W wind is not bad but a N or S wind will kill you and vice versa. 

 

Just pay attention to the wind forecast, and try to plan accordingly.  I usually also adjust my techniques based on the wind too...so it's a huge factor.

 

Nowadays, the wind doesn't bother me too much.  Won my first tournament in 25-30 MPH gusts in January...was pretty tough, but it can be done.  

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This spring has been painful....every time the temp cracks 50, it brings crazy wind...except a couple weekdays.    I'm there with you, @wasabi_VA.....staring out the window this morning...watching the tree tops sway.....painful

I set flexible thresholds of 10 for kayak, and 15 for jon boat

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The wind does not usually keep me off the water, but it will dictate how and where I fish.

In my kayak 15 mph is about tops. And that is only on select lakes. Anymore and it is hard to control.

In my bass boat I have fished in 25 mph straight line winds with 40 mph gusts.

 

Different bodies of water react differently to wind.

One local reservoir will get 4 foot rollers at 10mph. It is usually reserved for calm days.

Another local lake ,I often fish, will only get small waves at 25 mph. This lake turns on when the winds gust.

 

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When I had my little 10’ Basshound boat I would go out in up to 15 mph winds.

 

That being said, the lakes I would choose would be small and have pockets that were protected from the wind and didn’t require crossing the main lake to get to.

 

I was out on the North end of a lake across the main lake once on a late October morning when a storm started rolling in. By the time I got half way back to the ramp the winds had really picked up. Had the boat not been filled with foam, it may be at the bottom of the lake right now. I will never let that happen again.

 

Pay attention to the forecast and know what you are comfortable with, especially in the little one to two man boats.

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I fish out of a canoe and I would say 20 mph is tops for me. 10-15 isn’t to bad. I just paddle wherever and throw an anchor down and catch the fish. I think of fighting the wind is good exercise and healthy for me... then there are those times that I start swearing at the wind because it seems to only blow when I start paddling , but that doesn’t happen to often 😁

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The lakes I fish run north and south. I will not shy away from 30+ MPH east or west winds, as half the lake will be comfortable for me to fish in my aluminum boat. The lakes are also "skinny"...so the wind is not pushing a lot of water or getting a good running start even on the "windy" side of the lake.

 

The same winds blowing from the south or north, usually keeps me off the water...and it's not all that fun in a bigger heavier glass boat either. The opposite end of the lake that the wind is coming from is often dangerous with my boat in 30+ mph winds on these shallow, long skinny lakes. I have many times been tucked into coves blocked by the wind, having a good time, catching fish, only to have to come out from behind "cover" to get back to the ramp, and taken a bath/beating doing so. I have nearly swamped my boat a couple times. The older I get, the less risks I want to take.

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I fish from a Pond Prowler and 15 is usually my max but have been out in 20+mph gusts before. I absolutely despise fishing in the wind. Being in the wind gives me headaches.I’d rather fish in the pouring down rain or snow than on a windy day. 

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I don't know that I have a max wind speed that I will fish in. For me it boils down to safety and whether or not I have areas that I can actually fish in the wind. For example, if it's blowing 50 mph but I can get my boat in and out safely and I have some coves, bays or other areas that are not directly in the wind, I will fish. But if there is a case where it is only blowing 20 or 30 mph but the ramp is exposed to the wind making it dangerous to get in or out and I don't have any protected areas, then I likely won't fish. The most important thing is to just be safe. There is no sense destroying your boat or losing your life just to catch a few more fish.

 

I won a tournament years ago fishing in wind that was so strong and constant for so long that it started to make my ears hurt. I had to put a hoodie on and pull the hood up, even though it was 75 or 80 degrees out, just to protect my ears.

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I mainly bass fish out of a 20ft 2,000 pound bass boat and fished points on a very large lake with rolling white caps.  The boat pitching bad enough to keep the trolling motor out of the water 1/2 the time.  I would have to go past the point and drift backwards using an 80# TM on max to slow the drift.  It would not pull forward because of the waves lifting it out of the water so much.   However, I was catching numbers of nice bass where the hard winds were pushing the bait fish against the points and the bass were having a field day.

 

Sometimes you have to fish high winds because that's the only thing providing current and current attracts bass.  However, when in my canoe, I avoid any wind I can.

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1000 acre lakes with a 16' deep V. I'd say 15 mph is my max. There's a big scratch on the side of the boat from a day with 20 mph winds gusting to 40 when I didn't get off the water in time and wind was blowing into the launch.

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Ray Robert's 26,000 acres and if wind kept me off the water I'd miss fishing all Spring.  20-35 mph out of the south all spring here.  Just the way it is.  Last year I used a 14 ft jon and probably looked a little crazy going out in that crap.  If you treat the situation for what it is though, it's doable.  Miserable, but doable.

 

I fish out of an 8ft bass buggy these days and it can almost be as bad when the wind gets crazy as not fishing at all.  I will say it is a stable little sucker though.

 

I always have a life vest, share my GPS location with the Mrs., and never go further from the launch point than I'm prepared to hike in case my trolling motor can't get me back.   Obviously the main lake would be suicide so I stick to the coves.  They can get pretty wild though. I've been close to hiking back a number of times.

 

The wind has to be pretty gnarly for me to walk the bank.  I'd say 30 knots and the buggy stays in the garage.  I have recently discovered how much fun it can be wading the banks.

 

Not trying to sound macho, but 15 mph ain't nuthin.

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I haven't found a wind level that i won't fish in out of my kayak but i definitely change up where i am going to fish based on high winds.  There are a few lakes out here that are wide open and high winds can create some pretty large swells that make it difficult to fish.  others offer more coves and are more protected from the wind so I can fish those.  

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I fish out of a Native Watercraft Slayer 10 Propel which sits pretty low in the water and is stable. Although I do have a anchor and rope I never carry it with me as I prefer to just move around. My tolerance for wind and weather varies based on other factors I mention below. 10-15 mph winds are tolerable as long as other factors involved are favorable. I've been caught out in 30 mph + wind gusts before and it isn't any fun. Around here the wind sometimes cant make up it's mind in which way it wants to blow and shifts back and forth at times. 

 

My tolerance for the weather varies based on how I feel, what time of year, do I feel lucky, and things like if it's my birthday. I'll use my birthday on the 21st as an example. On Sunday it was 80, Monday it was 79, Tuesday it was 70, Wednesday we had a cold front hit and it was 58. Just so happens my birthday on Thursday was 53 with a 77% chance of rain. Normally I wouldn't consider going, but it was my birthday so I sucked it up and went out anyways. I wound up getting 6 bass in the yak, lost 3 in the fight, and had 1 short strike that missed. I got rained on just like the weatherman predicted, my hands were cold and wet, but in the end I had a really fun time. They were all 1-2 lbs, but fun to catch none the less. 

 

 

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I fish a lot of power plant cooling lakes - if the wind speed is 5+ mph at home, I don't bother going as I know there will be 3ft rollers on the lake and the close it to boaters (these lakes sit approx 60-80ft above the surrounding area as they are meant to catch the wind.)

 

Currently in natural lakes I fish, anything thing near rolling waves (even at 1ft) which usually means 15-20+ mph winds I won't go out as fishing is meant to be enjoyable for my preferences.

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If it's going to be windy I'll just try to pick a lake that sets up well for the forecast wind direction. 20-30 mph winds are pretty standard here, especially in the spring, gust will go over 40, sometimes 50mph. Small bodies of water with some protected areas, plus a strong trolling motor and good batteries, I go fishing regardless. 

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I’ve been out in some pretty crazy winds over the years. Living and fishing on the east side of Georgian Bay, you get pretty used to big waves and wind, I’ve trolled for salmon in 12’ rollers and done well, it just takes a bit longer to get out there ( this is in a 20’ deep-v Lund). Now saying that, if it’s going to be super windy, and I’m chasing bass, I’m usually going to look for a smaller inland lake to fish or if I’m on the bay, I’m staying in behind the islands. There’s always a calm spot somewhere on the lake, just have to maybe launch at the other side so you don’t have to drive through the rough stuff to get to it. 

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I got a 16ft bassboat with a 75hp on back, 65lb troller up front. 

I really tested my limits last year, but I've yet to find them. The worst day the wind was 30mph steady with gusts upto 50mph. I was dealing with 3ft waves and nasty rain but I stuck it out. My trolling motor took it like a champ. 

So realistically, I think other elements would stop me long before the wind did. If the wind is faster than 50mph that means there's going to be hail, lightning, 5ft waves, and rain so thick you can't see your bow. 

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Depends where I am at.

 

Lake Michigan around Chicago- nothing from the north or east.  Even very light winds will result in rollers.  Not that I can't fish them but I don't enjoy it and would rather go somewhere else.  15 mi/hr winds out of the west or south is my max on that big water.

 

Everywhere else- I won't go if it is much over 20 mi/hr.  It also depends how it will be at daylight.  I'll still go if there are lighter winds forecast in the morning then building to 25+ at midday.  I'll just get off the water sooner.  But I have learned over the years that sometimes those 25+ mi/hr winds never come.  Plus, I have had some good days fishing fast moving baits in high winds.  

 

 

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Bumped up a thread in the General forum that thoroughly discusses this topic, worth reviewing.

Tom

 

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