Based on the wind forecast it was decided we should stay close to home. Eric, Nick and I spent the afternoon at Hillsdale. We knew it would be “breezy” but we were not expecting “BREEZY” which is exactly what we got. As we drove down to the ramp we sat and stared at the white caps heading north up the big bull. Well, at least the lake won’t be crowded we joked. We had originally planned to crappie fish and seek out the white bass later. Even with the wind we stuck with the plan, albeit for only a short period of time. After finding a wind sheltered shoreline we managed a couple of small crappies before deciding our efforts might be better spent on a different species. We noticed there was one boat crazy enough to brave the wind and drift HD point so we agreed we were willing to give it a shot as well and hopefully catch a few cats. Finding shad in windy conditions can be a challenge but having Eric “The Shad Extractor” Sher gives us an unfair advantage not enjoyed by many. Three tosses of the net and we were off in search of Mr. Whiskers.
Still “BREEZY” we began drifting. With 2 drift socks we moved along ~ 1.5 mph which is about as fast as I would want to attempt drifting. The conditions were not ideal but you have to accept the conditions for what they are and go with it. After 3 drifts we picked up a handful of channel cats but all in all pretty slow. While drifting we spent a lot of time watching the waves crash along HD point and we guessed there would be a lot of whites in the area chasing shad up shallow. Switching tactics we started trolling and picked up a few small whites in depths ranging from 2 -12 fow. We were aware the water was extremely shallow on the northern end of the point and for those not in the “know” it would be a dead giveaway by the guy wading up to his knees fishing way off shore out in the water. Would this keep us from tolling nearby? Of course not! We almost beached the boat before luckily making an escape. Even though we were well out of casting distance from the guy wading I suppose we had it coming. Eric did manage a keeper walleye on our way off the point.
Given the wind conditions we expected the white bass bite to be fast and furious but this was not the case. While continuing our search we reminisced about seeing and fishing the large schools of erupting white bass at LaCygne and how awesome it was to experience. Having little luck and almost getting stuck we made a move across the lake. As we neared our next spot from a distance Nick spotted the feeding frenzy underway.
We eased up with the trolling motor to the mass of diving birds and the fish catching festivities commenced. All I heard was the soft pinging of drag pulling and lots of oohs and aahs as the fish attack then get off and then get hooked again. Fish were caught on almost every cast and the hot bite lasted for over 30 minutes before dying off with the wind and sunlight. It was great that earlier in the day we were day dreaming about the fast action busting whites only to add another day to look back on fondly. I cannot wait to see what the next trip out brings.
For you fishers out there remember when the wind limits your ability to target your preferred species try using the wind to your advantage and fish for other species that can be easier to target.