How Does Wind Direction Affect Fishing

How Does Wind Direction Affect Fishing?

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Wind is a funny thing when it comes to fishing, because it can be both good and bad. So, how does wind direction affect fishing?

Well, wind can blow baitfish through the water to windswept shorelines, it can blow food off the shore and into the water, and it can create currents that fish usually like to swim against. Let’s take a closer look at this relation between fishing and wind direction.

What Affect Does Wind Direction Have on Fishing?

windy weather

No matter what direction the wind is blowing, it can have quite the affect on fishing. So, how exactly is wind direction going to affect fishing?

1. Windswept Shorelines

When you are fishing on a lake or any such body of water, watch out for wind that is blowing towards the shoreline.

When the wind is blowing at a decent speed, it can be beneficial to fish along the shoreline which the wind is blowing towards.

The reason for this is because the wind will blow smaller baitfish towards that shoreline, thus causing an increased amount of baitfish to be located at the windswept shoreline.

Of course, when there are baitfish around, there are also going to be larger fish coming into the area with the aim of feasting on those baitfish.

Therefore, fishing on a windswept shoreline is always a good idea. Just watch out so your boat doesn’t get blown against the shore or rocks.

2. Currents

Another way in which the wind direction can affect fishing is due to the currents which that wind creates.

Strong winds can definitely affect the currents in small and large lakes alike. The current will often go with the wind.

This is very important to keep in mind when it comes to fishing because fish usually like to swim against the current or hang it one area swimming against that current.

The reason for this is because it is a lot easier for fish to maneuver when they are swimming against the current rather than with it.

The main reason behind this is because strong water currents will carry smaller baitfish and other foods with it, which those fish can then easily snap up as the current draws those foods their way.

3. Blowing From The Shore

Another affect which wind direction can have on fishing has to do with all of the stuff which the wind will blow into the water from the shore.

Fish love to eat insects, spiders, insect larvae, and they often like to eat all sorts of vegetation too.

Strong winds will blow all of those things from the shoreline into the water, especially if there is a lot of it present on the shoreline.

Depending on the wind speed, it will blow those things from the shoreline into the lake, and will often carry those fish foods across the lake.

This is something else which can attract an increased number of fish to the area. All of that food is going to create a feeding frenzy, thus making it a perfect time to throw your bait or lure into the mix.

4. Casting

Other than blowing baitfish and other bait in the right direction, wind can also have an affect on the way in which you position yourself in your boat or along the shore, as well as the direction in which you can cast your rod in.

Simply put, you really never want to be casting into the wind. If you don’t have good line and a heavy lure, casting into the wind just doesn’t work well.

You’ll end up getting a lot less distance out of each cast, and chances are that your lure and line is going to get tangled up as well.

However, if you cast with the wind, that wind will carry your lure much further than you could manage to cast it all on your own without the help of a backing wind.

Yes, casting with the wind is a lot easier, but it is also somewhat contradictory to the other points we have discussed so far. There is definitely a bit of a trade off to think about here.

5. Anchoring

Another affect which wind direction will have on your day of fishing has to do with anchoring your boat.

Simply put, that strong wind, combined with strong water currents, is going to push that little boat around in the water.

Therefore, you definitely need a good anchor to keep your boat in place as you fish, or else your boat will move all over the place.

This is especially dangerous if you are fishing near a rocky shore, with a big potential for that wind to push your boat into the shore.

What Wind Speed Is Bad For Fishing?

One of the most important things to keep in mind here is that strong winds will cause dangerous fishing conditions.

Any wind speed at 39 mph or over is easily capable of capsizing smaller boats. Therefore, if you are seeing very strong winds, it’s probably best to stay off the water altogether.

If you have a smaller boat, fishing in wind speeds in excess of 20 mph is not recommended. It also tends to get cold in this wind, plus casting is not easy either.

It is true that fish tend to bite the most before a storm, but during a storm is a different story.

Why are Easterly Winds Bad for Fishing?

Yes, easterly winds can be bad for fishing, but why exactly is this the case? Fore those that don’t know, an easterly wind is not actually wind blowing towards the east, but from the east.

This is usually not great for fishing, as it often signals that abnormal or bad weather is to come.  This, combined with barometric pressure, can signal to fish that it’s time to run and hide for cover.

When wind is coming from the east, and the barometer is decreasing, this decrease in air pressure can cause fish stomachs to shrink in size, not by much, but by enough to make a difference in terms of their will and need to hunt and eat.

If there is a strong easterly wind combined with falling barometric pressure, you probably aren’t going to get many bites.

The bottom line is that fish will usually bite the least when the wind is coming from the east. East is least and west is best.

Do Fish Like The Wind?

Alright, so as we have mentioned before, it really depends on where the wind is coming from.

Wind from the east is usually not great for fishing, as is true for wind from the north. However, wind coming from the west, as well as the south, is usually quite good for fishing.

Fish do tend to like wind due to what we discussed above, in terms of it blowing baitfish through the water, blowing food from the shore, and affecting currents.

Wind usually causes a good deal of surface agitation as well, which brings fish closer to the surface to feed. Remember that fish cannot actually feel the wind below the surface of the water, just the affects which it has on the water.

That said, excessively strong winds, like hurricane gale force winds, are not going to be enjoyable for anybody or anything.

With a massive storm, fish may have trouble controlling themselves near the surface and staying on track.

Fish will often move to deeper waters with very severe weather, for safety.


The bottom line is that wind can be good for fishing and it can be bad for fishing. It really all depends on the windspeed, your fishing setup, your location, and the fish at hand.

Remember, while a bit of wind can be good for fishing, too much wind is not going to do anybody any favors.