Windiest Day on the Lake – Ride like the Wind

June 23, 2023 – Just a couple of days ago, I couldn’t help but think that you can never have enough of a good thing. Well, that turned out to be a jinx. It seemed like the wind was finally going to calm down and give us a break for a couple of days. However, when I woke up at 6:00, the Park Staff was already discussing the possibility of another day of Red Light Extreme Wind closures for the Lake and Forebay.

I had planned to take Vaughn out for some fun, playing a few party games like ” Livescope Whack a Striper” and “6X Striper Challenge,”  just like I did on Wednesday’s rare calm day.  It’s not every day that you have a chance to cast to ten thousand hungry stripers right in front of you.  I anticipated another day similar to that today but it wasn’t fate.

I called the Kiosk every hour until 8:00, and finally, they hinted that the wind might have subsided a bit. They informed me that the yellow light was on and the lakes were open. I decided to let Vaughn make the final call, and he was enthusiastic about going. We met up and arrived at Dinosaur Point around 9:00. The winds were blowing east at around 10mph, and I could see some white caps far off in the distance. It appeared deceptively calm.

We decided to head across the Lake towards the Racks, but as we approached, the water became increasingly choppy. It was so rough that Vaughn decided not to fish. Despite the long trip across, we were forced to seek shelter behind the pillars of the trash racks. I managed to catch a couple of fish before heading back, but unlike a few weeks ago, there was no proper wind shadow behind the pillars. The wind had shifted more to the east, and the waves were making their way through the openings between the racks.

Determined to get Vaughn on some fish, we changed our plan and headed to the west shoreline in search of wind shadows. We managed to catch a couple more fish, but it was tough work. The schools of fish we spotted were constantly on the move and seemed to prefer depths of around 35-40 feet. Additionally, the unpredictable winds bouncing off the foothills made it nearly impossible to drift properly with two people in the boat. Considering the circumstances, I felt fortunate to have landed half a dozen fish. We called it a day and headed home around 3:00.

It wasn’t the day I had anticipated, but fishing with Vaughn is always enjoyable. Despite his great boat, sometimes we just want to focus on fishing and not deal with the hassles of boat handling. As we all grow older, we rely on each other’s support out there, whether it’s checking in with friends who are also on the lake or taking turns with boat responsibilities.

I’m headed past the border of Mexico  in two days to La Ventana. I think I’ll take tomorrow off to pack some more. I had hoped for one more day of fishing, but the weather forecast predicts strong winds tomorrow.

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