The upcoming Where Y'at Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club tournament will be held this Saturday, November 19th, 2017. Of course, since there is a tournament scheduled, the wind is forecast to be perfect Mon-Friday, then do a complete flip to 20-30mph N winds on Saturday.
I'm no master angler, but I have spent a lot of time in the kayak over the past few years. Here's a few tips on dealing with the wind.
- Make a fishing plan that utilizes banks and narrower canals that provide cover for the direction the wind is forecast. Man made canals often have higher banks, and some have oaks/shrubs that also help.
- Stay away from areas that are naturally shallow, since they can get drained way faster with a stiff wind, and you can get stranded. Don't ask how I know.
- Note the direction of the wind in combination with the tide. If the tide is falling at the same time there is a N wind, the current is going to be quite a bit stiffer in places.
- Feather your paddle, if it has an offset. It slices through the wind better when its offset (paddles at a 45-60 degree angle from each other)
- Minimize how much stuff you have on the deck to catch wind.
- Be a little extra careful when turning. The hairiest part of wind driven chop is getting hit sideways. Same goes for anchoring - don't get yourself stuck with side of the yak taking waves.
- Be prepared for wind knots if you're casting into the wind with braid.
- Wear waterproof pants and shoes, you will get wetter because of the spray.
- Rinse your reels when you get home, they will get more salt water on them because of spray.
- Use the wind in your game plan - if you know you want to fish a bank, don't fight the wind AND fish, make the paddle first, then drift with the wind.
- Don't be a wuss! I say this tongue in cheek of course, but for the most part, the wind isn't dangerous, just annoying and inconvenient. Of course, it could get dangerous, so if you feel uncomfortable, don't risk anything. I know we aren't Native Alaskans, but keep in mind they used to hunt seals in animal skin kayaks, in the open Pacific Ocean. We can risk a 20-30mph wind in the marsh.
- Try not to fall in.