Flats Fishing Tip: Managing the Wind
Flats fishing in Florida can be an absolute blast if done correctly.
On the other hand, it can be incredibly frustrating when even the smallest of mistakes spook the good fish away.
One mistake that I see many people make (and that I used to do it too) is not accounting for the wind direction when deciding how to fish a flat for a shoreline.
Here are just a few NEGATIVE things that happen when you don’t plan your fishing route around what the wind is doing:
- You could end up spending the day having to cast directly into the wind
- Shorter casting distance
- Noisy approach to the fish
- Less feel of your line for detecting strikes, etc.
Fortunately, this is one of the absolute easiest mistakes to correct because it only involves you letting nature run its course in a way that benefits your fishing.
Once done properly, you’ll be using the wind to move you down the flat/shoreline which will help you do the following:
- Longer casting distance
- Quieter Approach (much more quite than a trolling motor or push pole)
- Less hull slap noise from your boat
- Less wind knots in your line
- Save batteries compared to using your trolling motor to battle the wind
Flats Fishing Tip – Managing the Wind
How to Drift a Flat
Simply start your fishing route on the up-wind portion of the area you plan to cover. If you’re fishing an open flat, then you just go directly up-wind of the area you’d like to cover and let the wind take you down while only using your trolling motor, push pole, power pole, etc. to speed up or slow down your drift.
How to Drift Fish a Shoreline
When fishing a shoreline that does not line up with the wind direction, start your approach at the up-wind side and use your trolling motor to keep you in casting distance from your target region while letting the wind work for you whenever possible.
The wind can work For or Against you as an inshore angler. Clearly, you always want it working for you while out fishing.
So be sure to always let the wind be your friend when out on the water. Just start your fishing route on the up-wind side of your area of interest and let the wind take you to the fish.
It doesn’t take any extra work (in fact it’s less), and it’ll significantly help you catch more fish more consistently.
P.S. – Click here to see exactly how to rig the bait used in the video.
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What are your thoughts on fishing your artificial with the tide or current? Often casting downwind puts you reeling against the current , which I was once or twice told “looks unnatural” due to bait usually going the easier route with the wind.
Hey Jonathan, yes, if the current is strong, then retrieving the lure with (or diagonal to) the current takes precedence to casting into the wind. Thanks for leaving the great comment. Fish On!