After a long, sunny work week with light winds and an awesome offshore report, Saturday comes with whistling winds and rough seas. But we live to go fishing-so we grit our teeth, cast off the lines, and hold on tight. Will we fill the fishbox? That depends. Fishing in rough, turbulent water requires a few changes in the game plan. If you're rolling in the waves and the fish seem to have lockjaw, try these rough-water tips and you'll be glad you decided to brave the seas.
*Tighten up the spread. On rough days your boat's wake isn't the only white water around. Tightening the spread also minimizes tangles, which become more common as the wind shoves your lines and the boat in different directions.
*Upsize your offerings. Bigger baits are more visible in turbulent water.
*Trade in your hard-to-see skip baits for daisy chains and birds, which create a commotion in the water.
*When it's rough, lines can snap from outrigger or flatline clips. Immediately drop back the line every time a clip pops. Always assume it was a strike.
*Use a planer or downrigger to place one line 6' to 8' below the surface, just behind the transom; spoons are an excellent choice for this location.