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Chopped Water

Blog by: Lloyd Tackitt 11/17/2017
I like fishing windy days much better than fishing calm days.  Windy days that chop the water's surface improve the catching.  A lot.

Today vs last Sunday is a good example, I fished this spot last Sunday and caught a nice Bass and some huge Red Ear Sunfish.  One Bass and about six perch, which is not a bad day for me, in fact it was a great day for me.  It was dead calm, the water was mirror smooth.  The mirror surfaced water - and being really clear - meant that I could see fish a long way off, and of course they could see me.  There was no way I could get within visual distance of the Bass and have them stay there.  Soon as I could see them, they left the area.  

Today I fished the same spot and it is quite windy and the water is choppy.  This time, using the same techniques in the same spot, I caught four nice Bass and lost tgrack of the giant Red Ears.  Probably ten or twelve of them. For a while they were hitting on every cast.  It is awesome when that happens!  I love these Red Ears, I don't actually know if I have a perch or a Bass on until I get it up real close, they fight that damn hard.  I'm serious, these 10 to 11 inch thick bodied fish are superior fighters like all of the Sun Fish are.  These probably weigh a bit over one pound and yet they fight like a four or five pound bass.  They are the bomb.  

While I was standing in less than knee deep water two Bass approached to within less than my rod length of 9'.  They stayed there a long time.  They would ease off and then come back, ease off and then come back.  These two were smaller, probably no more than four or five pounds, but reasonably decent - and no way they'd act like that in calm water..  I could see them through the chop but apparently they didn't see me or didn't see me as a threat.  

Even when I was casting and waving my arm back and forth, they just sat there.  Whenever I'd bring in one of those Red Ears four or five really big Bass would follow it all the way in.  I had a school of five big Bass chasing my perch two or three times, and they approached to within three feet of my legs, just right there at my feet.  When they left they did so casually.  It was as much fun watching them do that as it was catching them or the Red Ears.  

The four Bass I caught (six to eight pounds) were all caught when they grabbed one of my perch as I was bringing it in.  Twice I saw the Bass actually take the perch and swim off with it.  Way cool.  Seriously way cool to see that happen.  You don't see that much when the water is flat.

Another reason I love the chop is that I can put a strike indicator on and toss out a fly, or a worm, and set the indicator to hold my fly/worm just above the bottom of the river.  That fly/worm then bucks up and down rapidly as the wind driven chop bounces my strike indicator up and down.  The wind will pull that indicator along at a good clip if it is with the current, or at a slow clip against the current - since it was blowing from the South today it was against - another nice movement action that enhances the bite.  That chop bounce improves the action and brings in more bites than a static presentation ever does.

Fish are just more likely to move around in choppy water too.  Instead of them being hunkered down somewhere in a small space they spread out and hunt, they feed more aggressively and in a wider area.

The wind does play havoc with my cast, and I may have lost my "zen" a couple of times and muttered f__k (muttered loud enough to wake my dog up on the bank 100 yards away where he was sleeping) as my line got tangled around my neck and the fly dangled from the bill of my cap - but there were just a couple of those zen lapses in 5 hours of continuous casting and fishing.  I'll take that.  I'll always take that.

Overall there is very little drawback to fishing in a stiff wind and a lot of plus signs that come with it.  

I'll take a windy day for fishing every time.  

Every. Single. Time.
Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt
Blog Comments
Dave Mauldin, TX   11/18/2017 5:44:26 PM
Agree, every single time. The wind is your friend. We need to learn to make it our friend.
Flyrodn, CO   11/20/2017 2:01:11 PM
No doubt a chop on the water can do wonders for the fishing. I prefer a bit of breeze, and on stillwater opt to cast into it from the shore. Still there are times when you can get too much of a good thing, as it was the last time on the water, 20 was calm that afternoon.
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   11/20/2017 2:57:38 PM
You make a good point - it can be too windy for sure. There are days when the wind is on ornery that it just isn't worth it to try casting in it.