Windy days can sometimes make for a frustrating time on the water. In my previous article, I discussed how wind can wreak havoc on your casting, but also provided you with a few tips on solving this problem. The wind affects more than just your casting, though, and can alter fish behavior, or even change the conditions of the water itself. Today, we’ll take a look at a few more ways the wind can impact your fishing.

Wind can have a big impact on fish activity in the water. One way it does this is by churning up a feeding zone that causes fish to become more active. The wind also breaks up the light in the water, which gives the bass more confidence to go out and feed. This inconsistent clarity and light penetration provides a shadowy camouflage for the bass to utilize while they feed. Also, baitfish will become more active, as well. When this happens, reaction baits—crankbaits are a popular choice—will be your best bet. Crankbaits tend to be easier to control in the wind and they’ll help you locate these feeding zones quickly.

Another way wind impacts fish activity is by boosting the oxygen levels throughout the lake itself. When the wind is absent and waters stand still, the oxygen levels can decrease, causing the fish to become lethargic. As the wind picks up, though, and plants and trees move in the water, this enhances oxygen levels and turns the fish on. Often times, large fish will congregate in very shallow water if there’s enough oxygen there, simply because the still waters elsewhere deprive them of it.

While the wind can play games with your casting and retrieve, it also has some positive impacts on fish activity, which any angler will love. Fishing in the wind takes a lot of determination—not to mention patience—but if you learn to manage the wind to your advantage, you’ll be ahead of the curve in no time. Learning to work with it, rather than fight against it, is the real trick.