Tournament fishing under adverse weather conditions.

Discussion in 'Mac Byrum's Catfish University' started by Mac-b, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    North Caro
    This past week I fished in a catfish tournament that had winds of 15 MPH at the get go and the wind built up to over 25 MPH, with gust up to 40 MPH before the day was over. When this situation happens, it is up to you and your partner to decide whether or not you should fish under these conditions. There were some that elected not to fish due to the size of their boat and I think they made a wise decision. Also, eventho you have a large boat, but you do not have experience with rough water (waves of 2 to 5 feet) it would be adviseable for you not to enter such a situation. If you elect to fish under adverse condition, you should wear your life jacket to and from your fishing location. It is not adviseable to wear one of the vest type/auto inflatable jackets due to water being blown onto the jacket.

    Fishing techniques change under heavy wind conditions, but you can adapt somewhat to this situation. If you anchor down, you will need to face the bow of the boat into the wind and use a larger anchor than normal or use two off the bow, plus maybe two off the stern. Or, if you have overhanging trees or limbs, you can tie the bow off to them and still use two off the rear. If you are a drifter (by wind or trolling motor) you can still accomplish this feat. You will need a 24 volt, 65 to 80+ thrust trolling motor to go against the wind or with the wind, several large drift socks to do a combination wind/trolling motor drift.
    Whatever you do, please try to avoid a side drift, this exposes the boat to a large wake or wave that could capsize your craft. This happen to several guys last year at Santee Cooper in South Carolina and only one survived!

    The best advise is for you to be like a carpenter, measure twice and cut once. That is to say, that you should think long and hard about entering a tournament or fun fishing under adverse conditions. There is always another tournament and another day that you can fish. Be careful out thar, you hear.