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  • Writer's pictureNew Wave Fishing Academy

Wind Generated Current

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

Current acts like a conveyer pushing food to fish! In rivers current is obvious but finding locations where current exists in a body of water can be difficult. While there may be natural currents like in a river large water bodies also experience wind generated currents. Wind moves water and this means there is current somewhere! The current on the surface of the water is not noticeable to use or that much more beneficial to fish there are areas that will experience stronger current levels and trigger fish to feed in these areas.

To identify areas where wind generated current may be a factor we need to look at the layout of the lake as well as the direction and strength of the wind; we also need to understand what current is! Current is the natural movement of water. Moving water has velocity and can carry or move objects with them. When water is moved in any direction it gains velocity. The velocity may be small but when forced through a small area the velocity increases! Increased velocity means greater ability to move organisms or bait in the current direction as they will have a much more difficult time fighting against it.

To identify the areas where current will be increased the most by wind we need to start by looking at the wind direction. From there identify where the biggest source of water is (main basin) and where it will be pushed to! In the area where the water is pushed towards any area that reduces the space the water has to flow will create current! The more dramatic space reduction the faster the current will be. The fewer routes for the water volume to split between the greater the current as well. For example, if all the water from a main basin is pushed towards a single narrow channel the velocity will increase quite a bit. If the water is pushed towards an island instead where it can go either way around the island the velocity of each will increase a bit but not as much as in the single narrow channel.

fish wind generated current

There are two main structural features that can be identified on a map that will generate current when wind pushes water through them. The first and most obvious is a pinch point! A reduction in the width of passage where water goes through leads to increased velocity.

fishing wind generated current example

The other is a saddle or sharp reduction in depth! We can easily visualize the space reduction of a passage from above or while on the water when we can see it but the space can also be reduced when the bottom rises towards the surface! The same way the shorelines force water into a smaller area bottom forces water up towards the surface increasing the velocity in the shallower water!

The most dramatic increases in velocity will occur in areas where pinch points and depth changes occur at the same time! The direction of wind also plays a difference. If the wind is pushing from shallow water to deep water through a pinch point the current generated will be far less than when it's pushed from deep to shallow through the same pinch point! Another event which will create current is when the wind has been pushing in one direction (shoreward) for a sustained period of time (days). Once the wind stops or switches the water which has built up nearshore will rush back out in the opposite direction. This movement of a large volume of water creates current through pinch points as it levels back out.

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