HIGH WINDS that arrived way too early last Saturday morning put a damper on a lot of outdoor activities, with gusts over 30 miles an hour creating white-capped waves on the smallest of waterbodies.

It meant that anglers adjusted locations, some golfers stayed home and turkey hunters left the woods earlier than they had planned.

I had family in town who wanted to catch some walleyes but you could hardly feel a jig-and-minnow combination in all that wind. Yet that’s the best side of the lake because wind, believe it or not, turns on fish.

We opted for live bait because water temperatures had dropped to less than 50 degrees on many of the premier walleye lakes thanks to a nearly week-long cold front prior to Memorial Day weekend.

In fact, the scribbler can count on one hand the number of times the water was that cold for the holiday weekend the past 40 years. That’s why events such as crappie and bass spawning are way behind on most lakes.

Despite the tough conditions for crossing lakes, anchoring solid and trying to cast in any direction other than downwind, the wind did some great things for the walleye bite.

The walleyes were feeding so aggressively in the weeds and nearby mud flats that they were taking jig-and-minnow combinations off the bottom, often before we even started to jig.

And the shorelines that were taking a beating from those white-capped waves got so churned up that the fish moved shallow and moved often, making it easier to locate fish both Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Son Steve, daughter Melissa and grandson Alexander were the heroes who took me away from domestic chores for a long weekend of fishing. Darn the bad luck on that one.

What we learned is that you can never underestimate the positive effects of a major wind event. The walleye bite picked up Saturday morning into Sunday.

Most of the walleyes measured between 14 and 17 inches, but Steve set the hook on a two-foot plus walleye Saturday evening to make everything else we caught appear tiny.

Despite calm winds and sunny skies on Sunday morning, the walleyes remained in shallow weeds for hours. We never expected a limit of walleyes under near-calm conditions, but they had infiltrated the weeds so heavily that it took until 9:30 a.m. before the bite slowed.

Melissa caught her share of walleyes but hadn’t gotten into a bigger fish until about 10 a.m. We were ready to call it a morning when she tossed a big rainbow chub out one last time, announcing seconds later that something had grabbed it.

The hookset was true and a minute later, we slid a net under a golden, thick-bodied walleye that measured 22 inches. What a beauty.

Now, the rest of the story. It’s the part that my kids really don’t want to hear.

At about 8 o’clock that morning, after about 30 minutes without a bite, the kids were getting anxious. They wanted to move to a new location in the worst way, noting that four people making a cast every two minutes without a bite means the spot was dead.

But the scribbler doesn’t leave good locations in a hurry, for I’ve witnessed worse lulls that transformed into grand fishing because another school of walleyes moved through.

So after breaking all the rules with three or four “last casts,” milking each for all they were worth, Melissa fires a cast shallow and gets a pickup on the jig and minnow. And she lands a 16-inch walleye.

Then Steve casts to the same spot, gets a bite in four seconds, and lands another keeper. And in the next hour, we caught more walleyes than we had in the previous three hours.

There’s no lesson to be learned there, because it all boils down to luck. But they say the three most important things in fishing are location, location, location. So don’t give up on a good spot because of a 30-minute lull. Fish move around.

My grandson has been watching some “chasing monsters” show on a television channel, so he kept talking about sitting in the fighting chair.

It just so happens that I knew of a lake where the northern pike were hitting, so we switched gears and got out the slip bobbers.

We didn’t plan on spoiling the young lad for all time, but that’s basically what happened. It didn’t take three minutes for the first bobber to drop and there he was, in the fighting chair doing battle with a 28-inch pike.

We had three big northerns in the first 15 minutes and eight of them came to the boat in less than 90 minutes. He set the hook and reeled in every one of them, white-knuckled and hanging on for dear life.

So once again the scribbler got in a great fishing weekend because the kids returned for some walleye, northern and bass action. What a bonus for all the “work” it took to get them hooked on fishing.

We captured big fish and a ton of smiles on a lot of photos that will help preserve those memories for all time. And for Alexander, it’s just the beginning.

For Steve, the bass nut, the pre-spawn feeding frenzy is just beginning for smallmouth bass. Most of what he caught over the weekend, including one that went 6 pounds, were on salted tube jigs in deeper water.

But very soon those smallies will invade the shallows on pre-spawn feeding binges, and that’s when the jerk bait action heats up. And that’s the real fun for me, because the next fish could be a bass, a walleye or a big pike.

What we like to call the great walleye fishing of May will extend into June this year because of the below-average water temps. So if you haven’t gotten out, there’s still time for shallow walleye action.

And if it’s windy, don’t miss out on fishing the windy side of a lake. It can really turn the fish on.