Tips, Tricks and Tactics From the Pros
Editor’s Note: George Cochran of Hot Springs, Arkansas, has passed a milestone in his fishing career, earning over $2 million in tournament winnings. He’s been a Strike King Pro for years and has claimed two Bassmaster Classic Championship titles and won two Wal-Mart FLW Tour Forrest Wood Cup championships. According to Cochran, “My understanding of weather and its effect on bass at any time of the year has helped my fishing career. Any bass angler who wants to regularly catch more bass must know what various types of weather do to the bass he’s trying to take.” And, the great thing about Strike King’s lures is this company makes lures to catch bass in any situation. To help us get a better understanding of the importance of weather in successful bassing, and how you can change your fishing patterns to react to the weather like the bass do, Strike King has asked Cochran to pick weather situations, tell us what happens to the bass under each weather condition and explain how his fishing changes with the weather.
Part 4: Fishing for Bass in No Wind and How Wind Direction Affects Bass
When the wind dies, and the lake is as slick and still as a mirror, the bass can see better than they can if there’s a breeze on the water. On a still, calm day, a bass has much-more time to watch a lure and study it before it attacks than the fish does on a day when there’s a breeze on the water, and the surface is choppy. On a calm, still day, an angler can make a cast, see a bass run after the lure and then watch the bass stop just-before it attacks. Also, when bass look-up and see the shadow of a lure falling from the sky to where they’re holding, they’ll run from that shadow.
If the bait hits the water and doesn’t spook the bass, the bass often will run-up to the lure, look at it and think to itself, “That’s not real,” and never attack the bait. To catch a bass on clear, calm, still days, you must fool the bass with your lures. Therefore, if I’m fishing shallow water, I’ll cast a Strike King Finesse Worm onto the bank and then crawl it off the bank into the water, so that the lure appears more natural and doesn’t spook the bass.
The wind itself doesn’t affect the bass, except its churning effect on the water. But wind does bring atmospheric conditions that directly cause bass to bite or not to bite. In the United States, we have a saying that, “When the wind is out of the west, the fishing is the best. When the wind is out of the east, the bass bite the least.” I’ve found that this rhyme is true in the United States, because our cold fronts generally come out of the west and the northwest.
Therefore, a wind out of the west signals that a cold front is on its way, and the bass usually will begin to feed ahead of that front. Generally when the wind comes out of the east, the front already has passed through, the wind has changed directions, and the bass are attempting to get accustomed to a different weather condition. Although I don’t know how the winds are in Japan, I’m sure that when an angler studies the winds, he’ll soon learn which winds produce the best bass fishing.