Controlling your boat’s speed and course when drifting or trolling can mean the difference between catching a pile of fish and eating Spam for supper.

Unfortunately, wind and waves can make boat control challenging.

For years, fishermen devised their own methods for dealing with such issues. Many tied ropes to 5-gallon buckets, lashed the lines to their cleats and threw the pails overboard.

Others added sandbags to their cargo, lining the hull with up to 500 pounds of sandy ballast to hold their boat down in the waves.

Problem is, these methods aren’t very convenient. Worse, buckets can scratch and dent your hull, and few boats boast a bucket locker. Sandbags do reduce bouncing, but they lead to sore backs and take a bite out of your boat’s acceleration and top-end speed.

Thankfully, modern anglers have a bevy of Lindy Drift Control drift socks to help them rule the waves the easy way.

Socks create drag, which slows the boat and reduces bouncing in rough water — making it easy to dial in the right speed and smooth out your presentation. By deploying a sock at different points on your hull, you can also tailor the boat’s position in relation to fish-holding structure or the shoreline.

Lindy offers a variety of sock sizes, from 18-inchers ideal for canoes and kayaks to a 72-inch Wave Tamer capable of handling 19- to 22-foot boats in heavy seas.

As you gear up for the season ahead, do yourself a favor and stock up on a few socks in the appropriate sizes for your favorite fishing platform. The next time you’re fishing in wind or waves, you’ll be glad you did.