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Wind and South Central MN fishing go hand in hand but still many fishermen and women will not drop their boat in the water for a variety reasons of which may include boat landing trials and tribulations, not being able to feel bottom or boat control. However, most know that spend any amount of time on the water that some of the best days fishing (and catching) are when the wind is blowing and so it's important to understand, learn and utilize to your advantage, boat control, more than anything else. Thus, the May 2009, Tip of the Month!

Wind and Boat Control

Boat control always seems to be a problem in the wind. However, making a drift sock your new best friend will allow you to control your boat even in the strongest winds on the smallest piece of structure. Backtrolling is also possible, for both tiller and counsel boats in windy conditions. When you're controlling your boat in such a manner, speed is at your mercy and you can go as slow as you desire. These slight changes in speed, relating to both your boat and presentations, can and will trigger more bites, especially when jig fishing or using a Lindy Rig. Specific to structure or "spot on the spot" fishing, one option is to deploy two drift socks, one off the bow and one off the stearn and drift across or along it. Often times, though, you can be more efficient (i.e. cover more water) by using only one drift sock off the bow and backtrolling into the wind. When applying the latter of the two options, be sure to secure the drift sock to the eyelet on the front of your boat and not off to the side. Where you tie off the drift sock(s) from your boat is critical so be sure to practice and work on different scenarios before you allow yourself to get frustrated to the point of giving up.

Don’t stay home just because the wind is blowing and good luck with the 2009 MN walleye opener!

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Hey...is the wind/boat control because of my valiant efforts today? If so...i'd like to take some credit for the tip of the month! laugh

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Hey...is the wind/boat control because of my valiant efforts today? If so...i'd like to take some credit for the tip of the month! laugh

You did just fine when considering all the noise from the peanut gallery.

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when u mention backtrolling do u meaning using the trolling motor or the main boat motor itself? not everyone has a big enough of a boat to go out on windy days. but those that do have troubles also and may not want to back troll cause at this time of year the water is a bit cold yet and they dont have splash gaurds. other boats may not have the right kind of trolling motor to get the job done. some trolling motors have a shorter shaft then others so when u talk about back trolling and wind the prop of the trolling motor will be going in and out of the water due to bigger waves. just my 2 sence worth. and good tip although i tend to just drift across the lake on windy days to cover more water like u said and its sometimes difficult to rely off your anchor and trust it to make sure it holds or not.

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Backtrolling is most often done with the main motor, splash guards or not. If and when you are able to match the speed of the wave with the movement of your boat then you will have little to no water coming over the transom. But you're right, size of boat can become an issue on REAL windy days. However, most lakes in this area provide protection for those types of situations.

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Going to get mine today after yesterday out there. I meant to get one last year for the "SS Premo", but never got around to it.....

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Back trolling is a way to get your boat to go slower then it would go in forward. The back of the boat plows into the water and slows it down. With my 16’ boat I still go around 2mph. This is not slow enough for some fishing like bottom bouncers. So I have a drift sock I hook to the bow of my boat to slow me down more. This work well but as stated earlier, when there is a good chop on the water you can get wet. To fix this problem I picked up two 28” drift socks to hook to the front sides of the boat with line short enough as to not reach the motor. This way I can back troll with the wind and go forward into the wind. I have not put this to work for me but after next weekend I should have it working for me.

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Great tip TO!

I like to use a drift sock even when the wind isn't blowing, it allows me to back troll at a crawl while staying in gear the whole time. I also run mine on a longer rope, ~7', when hooked off the bow eye I can use it to pivot on very tight turns.

When chosing a new drift sock I would recommend picking one that is rated for the next size boat up, so for example if you have a 16' boat get a sock rated for an 18' boat. The bigger drift socks are more versitile and allow use in more conditions. Carrying two sizes can also be useful, when drifting the front of the boat will swing more than the back, so running a bigger sock upfront will allow you to drift straight.

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Great tip TO!

I like to use a drift sock even when the wind isn't blowing, it allows me to back troll at a crawl while staying in gear the whole time. I also run mine on a longer rope, ~7', when hooked off the bow eye I can use it to pivot on very tight turns.

When chosing a new drift sock I would recommend picking one that is rated for the next size boat up, so for example if you have a 16' boat get a sock rated for an 18' boat. The bigger drift socks are more versitile and allow use in more conditions. Carrying two sizes can also be useful, when drifting the front of the boat will swing more than the back, so running a bigger sock upfront will allow you to drift straight.

Nice add-ons Nick. Thank you.

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I purchased my first drift sock last year and bought one that was rated for my size boat a 16 ft. I wish I had purchased a larger one as it didn't slow me down quite as much as I had hoped. I have never tried using it with backtrolling, but I think I will this year. I think I might also get a 2nd sock.

~piker

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By the way Jamison thank you for the tips of the month. I appreciate the help and I know others do too. It helps giving me some "game plans" for when I plan an outing, and hopefully it will help me be a little bit more successful.

Thanks ~piker

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By the way Jamison thank you for the tips of the month. I appreciate the help and I know others do too. It helps giving me some "game plans" for when I plan an outing, and hopefully it will help me be a little bit more successful.

Thanks ~piker

No problem. I'm always happy to help. Good luck this open water season.

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Looks as tho the tip of the month will be used on opener. The winds are supposed to be north west from 11-17 mph with 25 mph gusts. Good luck to everyone fishing Sat!

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Looks as tho the tip of the month will be used on opener. The winds are supposed to be north west from 11-17 mph with 25 mph gusts. Good luck to everyone fishing Sat!

Boat control will definitely be forced upon many.

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This tip was put to the test today. Let's put it this way; if I would have "lost control", I would have been on shore.

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Boat control was a nightmare today out on the lake, after trying to fight it I eventually gave in and fished the calm side, still found some active fish so I can't complain!

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backtrolling is some what of an art

i use to pride myself in boat control most of my fihing was done on mille lacs and fished many touraments there in the 90s i learned by watching some of the best i fished some pwt back then with guys that today are fairly well known

including roach himself but watching these guys in prefishing and in the tourments was a great learning process and i got very good at it i had 17 ft glass boat with a 60 hp motor it was

a perfect fit i had a big enuff eletric motor for the light winds

and use the 60 with bigger winds i never used a drift sock

the motors were matched to boat which i believe to be precise thats what you need to do think about that when buying a boat

i now have a wheel boat and i'm kinda learnin allover this is the 2nd year and i did think bout trollin when buying this i have 150 e tec...a t-8 kicker and 80 terrova on the bow

i find myself mostly on the bow it is good for fairly good blow when that cant handle it it no longer i can switch

either kicker and run it as a tiller or the big one which i'm very impressed on how slow it runs and i still never use socks once in great while if i drift which i dont do very often in todays world with these new chips (which to me is the best thing since the green box) very seldom can you drift down a break i like to be fishing fish !!!

oh btw if you lookin for good splash gaurds reasonalbe try white caps outa shakopee just had some installed he did great job with kicker back there and all and look good to

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With all this chatter about wind, I should mention another thing. It is not uncommon for a boat to have two and even three drift socks on board for those crazy situations. For example, my dad was in a tournament this past weekend on Winnie and needed to use three drift socks and have his kicker in reverse just to maintain a reasonable speed for jig fishing. He and his partner got second place; again, boat control is crucial!

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I would not have been able to fish on Friday if it were not for my drift sock.... Everyone should have one, two, or maybe even three!!!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   A great week of fishing with walleyes and saugers caught in good numbers.   The go-to presentation, again, was a jig and frozen emerald shiner.  Emerald shiners are a staple in LOW and walleyes love them.  Other minnows worked also, but emerald shiners are a favorite of anglers for good reason.   The Lighthouse Gap area, Morris Point Gap and just in front of Pine Island held nice fish in 17 - 21' of water.  Various schools of walleyes and saugers across the south shore.     A quarter ounce jig in gold, glow white, pink, orange, chartreuse, or a combo of these colors tipped with a minnow worked well again.   Some big pike and jumbo perch being caught by walleye anglers. On the Rainy River...  Some nice walleyes were caught on the river this weekend, although most anglers normally head to the lake.  12 - 15' of water is holding some nice fish.   Sturgeon fishing on the Rainy River is closed until the keep season starts up again July 1st. Up at the NW Angle...  Some nice walleyes being caught along with a mixed bag.  12 - 25 feet of water.  Points, neck down areas and bays with warming water were holding good fish this week.    The go-to presentation was a jig and minnow as on the south shore.  A mixed bag as is common around the Angle.  
    • leech~~
      Nice work!   Here's two words you hardly ever hear anyone say anymore.  "grateful and humbled"   
    • Brianf.
      RLG, thanks for the shout-out!     Jeff and I are still trying to wrap our heads around what happened this past weekend.  We are humbled and full of gratitude  for having won 'The Classic' for a second time.     We practiced through all the rain on Thurs and the wind on Friday and found six different spots holding big fish.  Fishing was good on both days with several 'overs' in our catch...but would it hold up for another day?   We didn't know.     On tourney day, we made a long run to our first spot where I lucked out on a 26.5"er on my second cast.  Jeff followed up with a thick 27" er a few minutes later, which turned out to be the big fish for the event at 7.26lbs.  We finished out our limit and weighed-in at 10:30 am for the welfare of the fish in our livewell.    There were some big weights in this event which would have won in most other years, but - for whatever reason - this was our day.  Everything just went our way.  Again, we are just super grateful and humbled by this success.  We also want to congratulate all the other anglers who did well and give a big 'thank you' to the tournament organizers who put on such a great event!  
    • SkunkedAgain
      I had a good start to the season on opener. Fishing was slow but consistent. I had four eaters in the box by lunch dragging perch raps. Crappies were biting. I haven't been up since so don't know how things have changed since then, but I'm sure the walleye continue to migrate out into the main basins.
    • redlabguy
      Let’s start this by congratulating Brianf and son for winning their second City Autoglass Walleye Classic last weekend. These guys know how to fish.  We just got to the lake for the season. Chores are almost done and I’m ready to fish.  red(new dog is more yellow)labguy
    • Jetsky
      I tried starting a 2024 Lake Vermilion Fishing Report topic but it doesn't show up on this board.   Maybe somebody else knows how to do it?
    • Mike89
      then use the BB gun after catching them!!!    and then enjoy rabbit dinner for revenge!!!   
    • leech~~
      Yep crazy. 🤪 I played goalie in HS and my two grandsons play hockey now.  
    • gimruis
      Hockey gear in general is very expensive.  I was in a Pure Hockey last month to get my skates sharpened and while they were doing it I looked around at gear.  A new pair of CCM/Bauer customized skates can easily top 1000 bucks.  Then you need everything else.  It would be several thousand before you had everything.  And then your kid grows like a weed so you need to buy bigger gear.   Then there's goalie gear.  That's enough to buy a small boat.   Nothing cheap about that sport by any means.
    • leech~~
      That's a good idea Mike.  But, my sweet wife who's never killed anything in her life, wants them all dead and their skulls on poles! 👹  🤣
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