Fooled by the Wind

I prefer to fish when there’s almost no wind. Yesterday, I made the five-minute drive to Big Lagoon to check on it. Very light wind, so I went home and loaded up the kayak.

By the time I got to the lagoon, the wind had picked up to about eight MPH. Decided to go anyway. Paddled downwind to my favorite spot, a location that’s somewhat sheltered. But soon, the wind had picked up enough that I was dragging the (small) anchor. Go or stay? The fishing was good.

I called my wife to have her check the forecast. The prediction was that the wind would drop a bit, so I continued fishing.

Finally, it was time to go, but the wind had only strengthened. I battened down the hatches, put on the half spray skirt, and girded my loins. Heading back, I estimated that it was blowing over 25 MPH. The windsurfers were out. Very choppy, many whitecaps, and impressive gusts.

But my Perception Sonoma 10 did great. The bow often dipped under a wave, and without the spray skirt I would have been soaked, but I could make good headway without too much effort. Even when I let myself get broadside to the waves, I felt that I was in control.

As soon as I got back to my truck, the wind died.

I learned that I don’t need to worry too much about the wind.

I think it waits for us to show up. On my favorite lake, you can often paddle into the wind going out and then get to do it again coming back.

On windy days I paddle into the wind and set up a “drift”. No anchoring. Trail a drift sock to slow you down if necessary.

Never let the wind play you for a fool… Always be suspect especially on new waters and it pays to be paranoid and plan an out.