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Entries in wind (6)

Friday
Jan262018

How Weather Affects Fishing

This is an excerpt from the "Weather" portion of my book, Better Bass Fishing. Of course, the book is written mostly for bass anglers, but this section --- as with many of the others --- can help you become a better angler in general by understanding the "big picture."

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Generally moving from west to east, areas of high and low pressure determine our weather.

As high pressure moves in, winds tend to blow clockwise and away from the center. Weather within the center of a high-pressure area features clear sky, dry air, little or no wind, and cooler temperatures. Especially during fall and winter, high pressure brings sunny, blue-bird skies, cold winds, and poor fishing.

With the approach of a low-pressure area, the wind blows counter clockwise and toward the center. Weather within the center of a low-pressure area features cloudy sky, high humidity, light winds, steadier temperatures, and possibly precipitation. Fishing almost always is better under these conditions.

Changes occur as one type of pressure is pushed out by another. A low pressure area moving in typically brings unstable weather and falling barometric pressure. Falling pressure, anglers know, typically coincides with better fishing.

But maybe not for the reason that many believe. Some think that high pressure makes fish uncomfortable, which is why they don’t bite well upon the arrival of fair weather and a rising barometer. They also believe that falling pressure prompts fish to become more active.

Actually, what probably happens is that falling pressure allows plankton and tiny invertebrates to become more buoyant and float upward. This makes them easier prey for shad and minnows. The increased activity of these forage species, in turn, triggers bass and other game fish to feed.

Or, falling pressure simply might be an indicator of more favorable conditions overall, according to Bob Ponds, a former professional angler who worked as a radar specialist and supervisor for the U.S. Air Force and the National Weather Service.

“If you have falling pressure, you’re going to have high humidity and clouds. It will be darker and the fish will stray out farther from where they have been hiding and they will bite better,” he says. “Barometric pressure doesn’t affect how fish bite so much as it indicates conditions that affect how they will bite.” 

And what happens when the barometer rises? Why do the fish stop biting? Here’s one theory:

“When you’ve got a rising barometer, fish are going to seek eddies and structure to take the pressure off them,” says Sam Griffin, a lure maker and guide on Florida’s Lake Okeechobee. “We can feel a temperature change. They can feel a pressure change. We think that fish hide in cover and behind structure to feed. They also do it to rest.”

Secret: Changing atmospheric pressure is not as likely to affect fish behavior in rivers and streams as it is in lakes and impoundments. That’s because water flow in these fisheries is a more dominating factor for increasing or decreasing pressure than is the air.


Tuesday
Nov222016

Wind Can Be Your Friend; Here's How

Pushing waves before it, wind can make boating difficult and sometimes even dangerous.

Wind also can make it tough for you to cast and even cause backlashes.

But when it doesn’t blow too hard, wind also is your friend. That’s because “reading it” properly can help you catch bass.

In fact, you’ll better know where to look for bass and how to make them bite in your favorite lake if you understand how weather in general affects them. Wind, however, is a primary key, as is cloud cover.

Know about these two aspects and the rest will fall into place, according to Bob Ponds, a former tournament angler who worked for years as a radar specialist and supervisor for the National Weather Service.“I don’t think that it takes deep knowledge to use the weather,” he says. “It just takes common sense.”

Let’s start with the wind.

Don’t look for a place to get out of the wind, so casting and boat handling will be easier. Instead focus on the wind-blown banks and shallow points. That’s because the wind pushes plankton against it. Shad, minnows, and other baitfish then move in to feed and bass follow.

During clear, colder weather, such places also draw bass because the wind blows in upper layers of water that have been warmed by the sun.

Also, wind stirs up the surface, hindering light penetration. That creates a low-light condition below the surface, making bass feel more secure, and so encourages them to feed more aggressively. This is especially true in clear water.

Because bass prefer darker conditions, sunrise and sunset often are best times to fish, especially in shallow water. Cloudy days also can be prime, and, in fact, a topwater bite can continue from dusk until dawn when clouds and/or wind are right.

Many anglers believe that wind direction plays an important role in whether the bass will bite. In fact, an old adage says, “Wind in the east, fish bite least.”

Ponds says that’s not so. Also, he doesn’t believe that barometric pressure is as important as others insist. Yes, a fish’s balance might be thrown off temporarily by decreasing or increasing atmospheric pressure from a passing front. That’s because its swim bladder contracts or expands with the change.

“But barometric pressure doesn’t affect how fish bite so much as indicates the conditions that affect how fish bite,” he says.

In other words, a low-pressure storm front brings with it clouds and wind. Both of those are good for the bite.

By contrast, high pressure behind that rain brings with it sunny skies and light winds. Both are bad.

“Wind in the east” signals that the clouds are passing and bright “bluebird skies” are on the way. That’s why it often is associated with poor fishing.

During winter, fish--- and fishermen--- also get hammered with colder temperatures when a high pressure moves in following low pressure. That makes for even tougher fishing.

But the angler who remembers that the wind is his friend will know where to fish during this difficult time.

Here's a more in-depth article about fishing the wind at Bassmaster.com.

Tuesday
Sep242013

Wind Can Be an Angler's Friend

Photo by Robert Montgomery

Pushing waves before it, wind can make boating difficult and sometimes even dangerous.

Wind also can make it tough for you to cast and even cause backlashes.

But when it doesn’t blow too hard, wind also is your friend. That’s because “reading it” properly can help you catch bass.

In fact, you’ll better know where to look for bass and how to make them bite in your favorite lake if you understand how weather in general affects them. Wind, however, is a primary key, as is cloud cover.

Know about these two aspects and the rest will fall into place, according to Bob Ponds, a former tournament angler who worked for years as a radar specialist and supervisor for the National Weather Service.

“I don’t think that it takes deep knowledge to use the weather,” he says. “It just takes common sense.”

Let’s start with the wind.

Don’t look for a place to get out of the wind, so casting and boat handling will be easier. Instead focus on the wind-blown banks and shallow points. That’s because the wind pushes plankton against it. Shad, minnows, and other baitfish then move in to feed and bass follow.

During clear, colder weather, such places also draw bass because the wind blows in upper layers of water that have been warmed by the sun.

Also, wind stirs up the surface, hindering light penetration. That creates a low-light condition below the surface, making bass feel more secure, and so encourages them to feed more aggressively. This is especially true in clear water.

Because bass prefer darker conditions, sunrise and sunset often are best times to fish, especially in shallow water. Cloudy days also can be prime, and, in fact, a topwater bite can continue from dusk until dawn when clouds and/or wind are right.

Many anglers believe that wind direction plays an important role in whether the bass will bite. In fact, an old adage says, “Wind in the east, fish bite least.”

Ponds says that’s not so. Also, he doesn’t believe that barometric pressure is as important as others insist.

Yes, a fish’s balance might be thrown off temporarily by decreasing or increasing atmospheric pressure from a passing front. That’s because its swim bladder contracts or expands with the change.

“But barometric pressure doesn’t affect how fish bite so much as indicates the conditions that affect how fish bite,” he says.

In other words, a low-pressure storm front brings with it clouds and wind. Both of those are good for the bite.

By contrast, high pressure behind that rain brings with it sunny skies and light winds. Both are bad.

“Wind in the east” signals that the clouds are passing and bright “bluebird skies” are on the way. That’s why it often is associated with poor fishing.

During winter, fish--- and fishermen--- also get hammered with colder temperatures when a high pressure moves in following low pressure. That makes for even tougher fishing.

But the angler who remembers that the wind is his friend will know where to fish during this difficult time.

(This article appeared originally in Junior Bassmaster.)

Thursday
Feb162012

EPA Sides With Anglers in War Against Fishing

Wind turbines are far more dangerous to birds than is lead fishing tackle.

On the freshwater front, anglers have won another battle in the war against fishing. For the second time in little more than a year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has denied a petition to ban lead fishing tackle nationally.

But the Center for Biological Diversity and its anti-angling allies won’t stop. Right now, they’re challenging EPA’s denial of their first petition and, in New Hampshire, they’re trying to expand restrictions already in place for state waters.

Most common argument for a ban is that populations of loons and other waterfowl are being diminished because the birds ingest the lead. But no scientific study supports that assertion.  Fatalities occur, but they are infrequent.

By contrast, wind mills kill hundreds of thousands of birds, including eagles and other raptors, annually --- a fact that some green groups choose to ignore as they wage war against sport fishing.

From the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation:

Science has prevailed. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD)—an anti-sportsmen group—that would have precipitated significant restrictions on lead fishing tackle all over the United States.

The CBD wanted the EPA to use the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to heavily regulate anglers from using tackle they have long used even though science doesn’t support such a measure. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) has been, and will continue to, fight such unscientific lead bans and restrictions at the state and federal level.

And Keep America Fishing added this:

Listening to the voices of thousands of activist anglers, on February 14, 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) once again rejected the most recent petition to federally ban lead fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act. KeepAmericaFishing™ thanks everyone who took action on this important issue.

Thursday
Dec152011

Green Groups Want Unnecessary Ban on Lead, But Okay with Slicing and Dicing Birds, Bats 

“It is obvious that wind power turbines kill more birds in a day than lead fishing tackle could possibly kill in decades.”

My friend T.J. Stallings at TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group made this astute observation recently, in the wake of another attempt by the Center for Biological Diversity and other preservationist groups to force a national ban on lead fishing tackle. He did so after reading this article in the Wall Street Journal.

In pushing for a ban, these organizations claim that loons and other waterfowl must be protected from ingesting lead fishing weights, even though no evidence exists that their populations are harmed.

By contrast, plenty of evidence exists that wind turbines --- green energy --- are killing hundreds of thousands of birds annually, including eagles. And now there’s evidence that endangered bats could be decimated as well.

Yet where is the outrage from the green groups over this very real threat to wildlife? I did a search for “wind turbines” at The Nature Conservancy website and found these and other similar listings: “Wildlife Friendly Wind Energy” and “Wind Power that Keeps Wildlife in Mind.”

In truth, the No. 1 priority is not to protect wildlife, but to stop us from fishing. And if you don’t believe that, you aren’t paying attention to the facts.

In case you missed it, here’s a repeat of a post from August, with a little updating:

The next time that you are maxing out your credit card to buy fuel for your boat and tow vehicle, here’s something to think about.

The same administration that is driving up gasoline prices with its refusal to allow drilling domestically, blocking extension of the Keystone XL Pipeline, and wants us all to drive Chevy Volts is giving a free pass to “green” power farms that are killing more than 400,000 birds --- including eagles --- annually.

By contrast, ExxonMobil paid $600,000 in fees and fines in 2009 for killing 85 birds that came into contact with crude oil or pollutants in uncovered tanks and waste-water facilities on its properties.

Finally, though, public outrage is forcing federal officials to investigate the deaths of six golden eagles at a wind farm near Los Angeles.

"Wind farms have been killing birds for decades and law enforcement has done nothing about it, so this investigation is long overdue," said Shawn Smallwood, an expert on raptor ecology and wind farms. "It's going to ruffle wind industry feathers across the country."

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times. And check out this opinion piece on the issue at The American Thinker.

This is one American thinker who is fed up with the consummate hypocrisy of this administration and the environmental left. Obama’s energy policy is not about developing energy; it’s about demonizing the oil industry and rewarding a green agenda that is inefficient, ineffective, could not survive in a free market --- Solyndra is a prime example --- and is killing hundreds of thousands of birds with impunity.

Where is PETA, where is the World Wildlife Fund, where is the Audubon Society, where are all of the environmental groups? They have been standing by, purposefully ignoring this tragedy, because to do otherwise would be to shine one more brilliant spotlight on a failed energy policy and a failed administration that they still blindly support.