At 9:52 a.m. on April 5, the National Weather Service in Lawrence, Kansas, reported that the wind was howling out of the north at 30 to 44 mph, creating a wind chill of 37 degrees.
A howling wind has not been a rare phenomenon in 2017. Consequently, when we have been afloat, we have spent a lot of hours employing a drift sock. And on those days when the wind kept us at bay, we spent a lot of time thinking about drift socks.
Back on Mar. 1, 2012, we published a 3,517-word discourse on the manifold virtues of a drift sock for anglers who use Midwest finesse tactics in the wind. And after we endured one of the windiest Marches that we can remember, we thought that we should reacquaint anglers with those virtues.
On wind-blowing outings stretching from the spring of 2003 to Mar. 3, 2017, we used a 30-inch drift sock with our 16 ½-foot Alumacraft Yukon, 40-horsepower Honda tiller-steering outboard motor, and 24-volt bow-mounted trolling motor. It allowed us to meticulously dissect untold numbers of shorelines that we would not have been able to fish without it.
But the intense and seemingly incessant wind that plagued a goodly number of our piscatorial endeavors in February of 2017 provoked us to think about employing a larger drift sock. In other words, our vintage 30-inch sock did not possess the wherewithal to slow our boat down to the appropriate pace so that we could efficiently present our Midwest finesse rigs to the largemouth bass. Therefore, on Mar. 3, we christened a 48-inch Lindy Magnum Series Drift Sock, which helped us tame a wind that angled out of the south and south by southeast with gusts of 28 mph.
Across the years, we have noticed that many black-bass anglers are reluctant to employ a drift sock — especially those who have a predilection to copy the tactics of the professional bass tournament anglers. We have noticed that many of these anglers spend a lot of the hours that they are afloat using their bow-mounted electric trolling motors to propel their boats into the wind. What's more, many black bass anglers mistakenly think that a wind sock is a tool just for catfish, crappie, and walleye anglers who spend a lot of their days drifting across vast expanses of offshore lairs rather than dissecting shorelines and points as black bass anglers do.
On the flatland reservoirs of Kansas, where we employ our Midwest finesse tactics along scores and scores of shorelines and points, as well as some shallow-water flats, we regularly use a drift sock and the wind to propel the boat along those shorelines and points. From our many experiences, we have found the drift sock to be more effective than using a trolling motor to propel the boat into the wind.
Here is how we use a drift sock to catch largemouth bass along shorelines and on points in the flatland reservoirs that we fish in northeastern Kansas: When we are casting and retrieving our Midwest finesse rigs from the starboard side of the boat, we attach the drift sock to the stainless-steel eye on the port side of the boat's transom. When we are working out of the port side of the boat, the drift sock is attached to the starboard's stainless-steel eye. We use a 24-volt bow-mounted trolling motor to adjust the direction of the drift, and even the pace of the drift can be altered a touch with the trolling motor.
Lindy has four series of drift socks.
The Magnum Series is their top-of-the-line model. According to the folks at Lindy, it creates "more drag than other drift socks of the same diameter." It also has a harness buoy, which is an essential component. Along the rim at the top of the head of the sock, there is a flotation device, and along the rim at the bottom of its head, there are a series of weights, which allow the drift sock to open its mouth quickly. The weights and flotation device keep the sock from rotating and twisting the nylon straps and harness. The 40-inch Magnum Series Drift Sock costs $80.29; the 48-incher costs $101.49; and the 60-incher costs $123.39.
The Lindy Original Series Drift Sock is their middle-of-the-line model. It has the same flotation device and series of weights that the Magnum Series possesses. It does not have the flotation harness. It is constructed from fabrics that will resist rot for years on end. This sock is made from a lighter material than the Magnum Series, and therefore, it will not provide as much drag as the Magnum Series. But it dries faster than the Magnum Series, and it is easier to store. The 25-inch Original Series Drift Sock costs $50.99; the 40-incher costs $61.99; the 50-incher costs $69.99; the 60-incher cost $80.99. A floatation harness can be purchased for $26.39.
The Lindy Fisherman Series Drift Sock is their economical one. It is made with a heavier material than the Original Series, which allows it to create more drag. It is designed to resist spinning, tangling, and fraying. It does not have a harness buoy. The 18-inch Fisherman Series Drift Sock costs $22.79; the 24-incher costs $27.79; 30-incher costs $33.79; the 36-incher costs $38.79; the 42-incher costs $43.79; the 48-incher costs $49.79; and the 54-incher costs $54.79. A floatation harness can be purchased for $26.39.
The Lindy Wave Tamer Drift Sock is tough enough to withstand the effects of trolling and saltwater. It has a spring-open design, and it has a surface-flotation device. It is, also, easy to remove from the water. It does not have a harness buoy. The 30-inch Wave Tamer Drift Sock costs $62.80; the 40-incher costs $69.09; the 50-incher costs $87.49; the 60-incher costs $103.89. The floatation harness can be purchased for $26.39.
Lindy recommends that anglers who are fishing in a 14-foot boat should use an 18- to 24-inch sock when the wind is light, and a 25- to 30-inch sock when the wind is blowing at a moderate pace, and a 36- to 42-inch sock when the wind is howling. In a 16- to 18-foot boat, they recommend using a 25- to 30-inch sock when the wind is light, and a 36- to 42-inch sock when the wind is blowing at a moderated pace, and a 48- and 50-inch sock when the wind is howling. In a 19- to 22-foot boat, Lindy recommends using a 36- to 42-inch sock when the wind is light, and a 48- to 50-inch sock when the wind is blowing at a moderate pace, and a 54- to 72-inch sock when the wind is howling.
(1) On April 5, Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, who is a talented Midwest finesse angler, reported that he uses a 42-inch Lindy Fisherman Series Drift Sock when the wind is parallel to the shoreline, and it works well at the reservoirs that he fishes in north-central Texas and south central Oklahoma.
It is interesting to note that Steve Desch and Clyde Holscher, who are veteran Midwest finesse anglers from Topeka, Kansas, have been employing a drift sock for many years to tame the effects of the wind that frequently harasses them on the flatland reservoirs of northeastern Kansas. They call it one of their most essential tools. What's more, Holscher, who is a longtime guide, says a drift sock has saved and assisted an untold number of outings with his clients since the 1990s. Since 2011, we have documented Desch's and Holscher's use of drift socks in several of our Midwest Finesse columns.
Desch, Holscher, and Reidelerare regular contributors to the Finesse News Network, and many of their insights appear in our Midwest Finesse columns.
(2) For more details about how Midwest finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas use drift socks, please see the Midwest Finesse Column at https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/spring-winds-and-drift-socks/.
(3) For more information about Lindy's drift sock, please see this website: http://www.lindyfishingtackle.com/accessories.