Water like silk, a Fata Morgana on the edge of the horizon, no ripple to be seen, or just an enormous mirror reflecting light. That’s the sort of feeling you get when fishing on calm days alike. Not the most ideal weather to fish for Esox, but surely one of the most beautiful conditions one can have. It’s you and the water, along with the stillness of nature. It doesn’t get any better than this…
Let’s face it! You can’t control the weather, and it better be good. Hundreds of articles have been written about the best Pike fishing weather. Overcast conditions with heavy winds and every now and then rain are known as the top conditions when it comes to fishing. Calm days, however, are often marked to be very tough, which isn’t strange. If you’re after predatory fish like Pike, they prefer an ambush in order to hunt. In water with waves, there isn’t a direct entrance to the world above. It’s separated by waves which cause a stir in the surface film of the water. When fishing calm flat conditions, there is no real ”border” between you and the fish. Neither is there any movement in the water, like wind lanes that create current or different temperature zones in which baitfish gather. Everything is equal in calm water. It’s almost like magic.
”Silence on the water”
On the other hand, when there is a breeze on the water, we instantly have to worry about other things such as boat control and keeping things as comfortable as possible on the boat. At least when you’re fishing from a boat, because if you fish from shore, you don’t have to worry about all of this. The wind and waves might be able to make casting hard, but that’s really the only thing. In a boa,t you have to worry about maintaining the right speed of your drift, staying in the striking area of the fish, keeping the right depth, etc. With modern days technology a lot of these factors have been taken care of, but on calm days you don’t have to worry about it so much as you would on windy days, and it enables you to fish practically anywhere. As mentioned before, there are no ”zones” in which the fishing is good or not due to the windy conditions, you can have success just about everywhere!
”A Pike fly works naturally on calm days”
As you might already understand, when fishing on flat calm days you need to ”stand out from the crowd”. You really need to trigger to fish to bite. In order to do so, you’ll first need to know where they are hiding, but assuming you already have gained some knowledge on the waters you are fishing, this shouldn’t be a problem. On days like these, Pike can be very lazy and laid back. They don’t roam around as much as they would on windy days. You can find large numbers of fish in the secluded area’s. They’re just hangin’ around waiting for a meal to come by. You may want to ask yourself what did it cause for the winds to lay down… was it a new weather front moving in, or simply one just passing by? No matter what direction the light wind comes from on days like these the air pressure is mostly very pleasant, and if we can feel it above, the fish can feel it below, and that’s probably the reason why they act like this on such days.
Trigger to strike, that’s the key! Let’s set a few rules in line what you definitely need on calm days:
- Erratic moving crankbaits producing loads of movement in the water
- High frequency producing rattle baits
- Natural colors
- Softbaits with a lot of ”thump” in the water
- Flies with a natural movement, those who almost glide through the water
- Lifelike action swimbaits
Believe it or not, calm water is actually my number 1 favorite conditions to catch Pike, anywhere, anytime. There is a reason for this, and it is really simple. On a day with wind, the force of the wind determines the spots you are able to fish. But it’s not about the spots. Let’s say you are fishing a cold front, and there are colder winds from the Northwest, North or Northeast blowing in, and it’s any season of the year. What immediately will happen is that the area’s where the wind is blowing fully into being shut down. Just like that, the feeding mode is turned off like a switch. Sounds crazy right? Cause for years and years it has been claimed by experts that fish are constantly active on the windy side, because that’s where all the food ends up.. Negative. This is actually the place where the fish don’t want to be at. And it makes total sense. Because let’s face it. In Winter or Fall, the side where the wind is constantly blowing ends up being colder, and the visibility is turned down. In the warmer water periods like Summer, it kinda works the same way believe it or not. Pike is a species of fish that hunt by sight, and when the water is disturbed by wind stirring up the water with waves and air, guess what, they move out!
”Search baits like the StrikePro Buster spoon & jerks above, work outstanding in calm water conditions. The internal rattle and the flash of the spoon can be a real trigger for strikes”
I see everybody in the Pike fishing world complain about the fact that every now and then the water gets flat calm. The ”pro’s” suddenly don’t know how to catch their fish anymore because for some reason they need wind. Well, let me tell you something, one of my very best days out fishing came on days with no wind. Like I said, everything works anywhere. The fish feel comfortable, and I as an angler feel the same. It’s great to be out there, because you really can see the beauty of nature on such days.
”Sometimes it’s all about natural colors. In that case, the Livetarget YellowPerch, Rapala Super ShadowRap and Suick Cisco Kid can be hot”
Another interesting factor is speed. This can and will vary from water to water. Everybody of water is different. There are places where the fish only want baits on a fast phase, no matter what time of year. And there are waters where they want something slow. If you know what you’re are doing, and most likely have found out by trial and error, you can catch anywhere anytime. The absolute key factor regardless of the conditions, something that is very hard to explain, is being in the moment with the right bait at the right speed in any body of water. It doesn’t matter if you are Fly-Fishing or fishing with conventional lures, it’s all about that key bait that you choose to match up with the conditions. Every weather condition askes for a different action of the baits you fish. Every weather condition has a different approach, regarding profile, movement, size etc. I speak to many anglers from all over the world, and the thing that surprised me the most is how easily some fisherman give up. Something that many forget is that no day is the same, and therefore in order to maintain in you fish catching ability it’s constantly adapting to the conditions. Fishing isn’t always about catching, but if you know what you’re doing you can come a long way. If you don’t want to put in the effort to learn and know how your fishery works, you’ll end up getting the same results you are having all the time. Do you want to catch that absolute giant fish of a lifetime? Get to know your waters, that’s all there is.
”These Suick HI Thrillers are absolutely deadly when fished over the weeds. On calm days they truly make the difference”
When it comes to the use of baits, there is an extreme variety which you can choose from. Again this is all trial and error. No bait is the same, they each have a different action, dive to a different depth with an X amount of line out, and work on different days. Over the years I’ve wasted a lot of time fishing the baits that didn’t work, only to find out what baits did work. It’s safe to say I found out how you can catch absolutely nothing with the high-end tackle on the water where there is plenty of fish, and be very consistent at it. Catching nothing is an art, and being able to do it all the time makes you master the technique at some point. The same goes for baits that do work. Again, for every condition, any body of water this is different. Eventually, you will learn what will bring you the bite, and from that point, you can take things to another level.
”A few crankbait examples. Bucher Baby DepthRaider, Musky Mania ‘Lil Ernie, Bomber Fat-Free Shad”