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Better Boat Control Equals More Fish

Posted: May 28th, 2014 by Bill Dance

Of all the different fishing topics I have discussed over the years, the one I have talked about the least turns out to be one of the most critical–boat positioning.

And honestly, I suspect there is a reason for this lack of discussion. My guess is because the topic is something I have to deal with on the days I detest the most when it comes to fishing. That’s on those trips taken when it is windy (and often cold).

High winds lend to a lack of boat control, and that alone doesn’t sit well with me.

But you know what? There is not much I can do about it. I know I will likely go fishing, regardless. All I can do is make the best of the challenge.

It’s tough though. If you have little or no control of the boat (and that happens on windy days), your fishing success dwindles and may very well disappear altogether.

It is very frustrating when the wind is always blowing and will not allow you to fish the area you want. You are constantly being pushed away from your target area.

Such days can drain an angler both mentally and physically.

And of course, currents, those natural in a river or manmade in a reservoir, can cause you the same problems.

How do you succeed when battling such uncontrollable conditions? Well, you develop a strategy. You become smart when it comes to boat positioning; you work with the conditions at hand.

Yes, it may be as simple as finding fishing locales with surrounding terrain, say a cove that shelters you from the dominant wind of the day. But we all know that is not always going to be an option.

So remember this when fishing the opposition of boat control (wind and/or current), always use your trolling motor to direct the boat into the wind. By so you will:

* have better boat control;

* be able to fish your lures more effectively;

* and catch more because fish always face into the wind or current.

As for the latter–fish always facing into the wind or current (both of which can move your boat beyond your control), they do this to face the direction from which food will most likely come. They face into currents and they face into wind, which can be one and the same. And of course, the wind can cause currents in the water.

Now, how do fish located far below the surface know which way the wind is blowing? I do not know, but they will do this at various depths.

So when you think about it, elements (wind, current) affect the position of fish as well as your boat.

With this in mind, position the boat to move into the wind and/or current. In turn, you cast into the wind (which can be tricky) or up current. This way, lures retrieved to boat will be approach fish with current as do most of their meals. Baits will be in their face.

Now, is fishing (moving the boat and even casting) into the wind going to be more difficult? Yes. But this kind of boat-control strategy will pay off.

The conflicting forces, current and/or wind and propulsion of your trolling motor actually gives you added control.

As always, catch one for me!

Bill Dance



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