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Butch

Fishing after sustained wind

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This is similar to the 'fishing a new port thread' but more focused. When you haven't fished in a while(perhaps because of blow days), and there has been a steady wind direction for a couple days, where do you start? If there was a mass of water with good temp, whether river plume or otherwise, I often assume(hope;) ) the wind pushed it, and the fish went with it so I start farther downwind. But most of the time I'm just guessing. Any ideas are appreciated.

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After the wind blows for example, for maybe up to 3 days straight it can get tricky. For example, in Michigan City, IN when it blows NW the water gets chalky and fish frankly do not bite. It is different at all ports on Lake Michigan.

In Grand Haven, you basically have 3 options of the water changing after a wind. When it is SW, NW, or a very strong East wind. North doesn't always affect the water because Muskegon blocks a lot of the straight North water from arriving to us. Say before blow days, if the fish are in 110-180 foot in mid-July and it blows SW, the water will most likely warm up and the fish will likely stay close to where they were, they will just be deeper in the water column. If it blows NW now for a few days and the water really cools off, the fish will eventually come to the river Mouth where the bait will form. The fish will also be out deeper, just higher in the water column. This was evident almost all of last year until July 20ish. We won the Holland Tournament in Mid-July fishing in the mud in Grand Haven because the nearshore water was so cold. The fish were in Saugutuck very well all week during that time in the mud as well. We caught them there all week. All the boats really got them on Saturday there too, but we opted to go to home to Grand Haven, instead of staying in Saugutuck where we got them there all week. But, no one got them on Sunday there because the fish moved to the North. A boat found them between Holland and Saugutuck and also right in front of the Holland piers. Everyone franky just drove over them.

Usually during August if it blows NW and really cools off, the fish offshore will swim North, and not downwind. It is that time of year when they are going to wherever they are going to spawn. The so-called "normal" migratory pattern for the fish is to the North.

The other tricky thing is that if it blows NW, the current doesn't necessarily have to be from the North as well. On occasion, the current is from the South, meaning why after a few days of hard NW the water doesn't cool off, it may even warm up, because the current is from the South.

Overall, fishing after a strong wind from one sustained direction can be very tricky to catch a consistent amount of fish. It usually takes a day or two to settle back down and for things to get back to normal. There are a lot of options and results that can occur. It is almost endless of possibilities. Fish don't always move after a wind and fish can move a long ways without a wind from one day to the next. The fish usually move northward and into the current. Most of the time, fish do not move downwind with the direction of the blow. The fish usually move up or down in the water column or east and west depending on what direction it is. After mid-July it is probably a 85% safe bet that all fish will be moving North, no matter what the wind direction may be.

I would say that the current has a lot more to do with the relocation of fish, most of the time, other than NW when fish move to the mud. We are big current fans and usually fish by the current consistently, no matter what direction the wind blew. If it is blowing from the North and the current is from the South, we will probably run North and fish into the current, rather than the waves. I did a lot of rambling here. Basically, you never know where fish are going to be immediately after a blow. It is educated guess time from what you know from past experiences.

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Great info Hit Man, thanks. We were the only boat in the Holland tourny that stuck around the second day after a dismal 1st day program. Kind of a funny feeling after all of the other boats take off and we had not pre fished it at all. We spanked them though and ended up weighing the heaviest box in the tourney and bumping us from 50+ to 6th place in the amateur side. Sometimes you have to play a hunch. We're still kicking ourselves for not entering the second chance.

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Hey Treblemaker,

We were upet around 9AM on Sunday of the Holland Tournament when we got reports that the Saugatuck boats were doing very poor. They couldn't even get a bite in Saugatuck. We knew we wasted a lot of gas and time traveling all the way to Grand Haven and probably could have stayed in Holland. There was a little boat who got them in Grand Haven on Saturday, but couldn't get a thing on Sunday, so we told him to go back to Holland and check it out. He said he couldn't do any worse there than he was doing in Grand Haven. He was one of the boats that ended up catching all his fish the last couple hours right in front of the Holland Piers.

This is a great example of how huge schools of Salmon can move very long distances in less than 24 hours.

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