Float fishing in windy conditions and choppy water can be very frustrating but can also be very fruitful when fished right. Here we take a look at the different options to find the best solution for you.
How to float fish in windy conditions? A long, bright and heavy weighted float and sunken line is the best way to float fish windy and choppy conditions.
Now let’s dig a little deeper into why you would want to fish in the wind, and also more explanation on the various methods.
Can you catch fish in windy conditions?
Absolutely yes. In fact, lots of anglers consider wind direction when deciding on what swim to choose. Having the wind blowing towards you can often draw the fish to you – especially if the wind is funneling the fish to you in an enclosed part of the lake or pond.
Fish will generally follow the wind, and there are several reasons why. As the wind blows on the water it creates ripples and waves puts oxygen into the water. Like us, fish need oxygen to survive – but they mostly get their oxygen from the water.
Wind also creates a current in the water which pushes any food in the water with it. Naturally fish need to eat and follow the food.
Often in competitive matches on a windy day, the most successful pegs have the wind blowing towards them.
So how do we catch them?
Float fishing in windy conditions
Often anglers will choose to ledger when it is windy because of the difficulties the wind creates when float fishing. Ledgering is not always going to be successful however so let’s take a look at float fishing in windy conditions.
The first thing you will need for angling in the wind is a large, bright, heavy float. This is needed because it is often difficult to see your float in choppy water. Pellet waggler floats can be handy for this.
A large float with a bright tip helps you see it to identify bites. Ideally, it needs to be weighted down well otherwise it will be constantly swaying around in the water, again making it hard to see and also likely to be moving your bait.
Ideally, in extreme wind, you are best fishing on the bottom which adds extra stability. Fishing over depth will allow you to have a weight on the bottom of the lake, keeping your line and bait in the same place. This can also aid the hooking of the fish as the extra weight on the line can assist the hooking process for you – but don’t rely on this to hook the fish for you.
How to shot your float in windy conditions
Ideally, you will be using a long heavy duty float which will allow you to use extra shot to weigh your float down. Bulk the majority of your shot together towards the business end of your line (the hook). This will keep your line straight in the water.
As well as not being the ideal method, spreading your shot out along your line is likely to cause tangles when you cast in windy weather, and could also tangle in the water.
Sink Your Line When Fishing In Windy Conditions
Sinking your line underneath the surface will stop the wind from blowing your line and moving it across the water. To sink your line, cast beyond where you plan on fishing, dip your rod tip under the water then reel in. This will not work if you have floating line as it will simply float back to the surface.
Consider the Float-Ledger Method
A Float-Ledger method is a crossover between float fishing and ledgering. You set up as you normally would if you were ledgering with a bomb on the bottom, but use a float as your bite indicator instead of a bite alarm or quiver tip.
Using this method, you do not necessarily have to use a big heavy-duty float, you can use a quill floating on the surface – when it straightens upright and/or goes under you know you have a bite. Using a bomb or a large weight on the bottom will help you hook the fish as the weight of the bomb will sink the hook into the fish’s mouth.
If you do not wish to fish on the bottom but are struggling but the wind and current are too strong for your float setup, the float-ledger method can also be used with a pop-up bait.
Protect yourself from the wind
It can be very frustrating when fishing in the wind especially if you’re not catching. If it’s also cold and raining that doesn’t make it a good experience for you. Consider a fishing umbrella or bivvy to protect you from the elements.
Being comfortable, warm and dry and protected from the elements will help you concentrate. Concentration is important when fishing, especially when float fishing in choppy water as you need to focus on your float.
It goes without saying when fishing in heavy wind make sure you keep a solid footing when near the water and be careful of falling branches.
There are lots of different methods to try and experiment with. Not all methods will work all the time – that’s fishing. Remember that weather, temperature and time of day also impacts your fishing.
Experiment and put your twist on things to suit your style. There are no right and wrong methods, but this guide should give you a good place to start.