Kayak Catfishing in High Winds

In a perfect world, it would always be sunny and 75 degrees with no wind and good current flow on the days I wanted to go fishing. Unfortunately, I live in the real world and the weather isn't always that cooperative. While rain and cold can make things uncomfortable, they don't prevent you from going about business as usual. High winds on the other hand is a different story.

Kayak fishing becomes difficult with wind speeds of 8-10mph. Fishing kayaks typically sit high on the water which makes them susceptible to catching a lot of wind. They are also light weight which causes them to get blown around easily too. This coupled with the chop on the water can make for a rough day.

Wind speeds in excess of 10mph can create downright dangerous conditions for kayak fishermen on big bodies of water. The waves created by the wind along with the difficulty in propelling yourself against it can put you in a life threatening situation. You should always check the weather report prior to heading out and pay attention to changing conditions while on the water. A PFD is a must anytime you are on the water but it is especially important when the weather turns bad. If you know the conditions are going to be bad, don't voluntarily put yourself in a dangerous situation. No fish is worth losing your life over.
A Nice Blue Cat Caught Drifting On A Windy Day
While high winds may make you change your fishing plans, it doesn't have to ruin them. By avoiding open water areas and fishing back in creeks and coves, you can often times shelter yourself from the wind. Even when these places are exposed to the wind, they usually don't have the high waves that make conditions dangerous like out in the open water areas.

One of my favorite tactics under these circumstances involves using the wind the drift with. I pedal directly into the wind and drop my lines. A drift sock is then deployed off the side of my kayak. The drift sock helps slow my drift as the wind propels me and drags my baits across the bottom. This is not a precision technique by any stretch of the imagination. There is no following a specific contour line under these conditions. I am just trying to cover as much water as possible and put my baits in front of fish. It is an effective technique that can help you catch some fish on days when most kayak fishermen wouldn't leave the house.

To watch this technique in action and see my tackle and rigs, check out the video below.

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