Is there any question?
This may not be a question for some of you who read here. You fish
at every opportunity. Geographically, there are those who can fish
everyday if work and the 'to do' list allow it. Of course, you are
the envy of the rest of the fishing addicted world. Outside of those
who fish whenever they choose, many are still likely to make some
decisions about when to fish. You may be a planning quick trip or
the adventure available to only once a year. Read on for some thoughts
on determining your plans.
Factors for planning a fishing trip
As I was out on the road today it dawned on me that our current technology
does not allow us to control the weather. I am not sure that humankind
should be able to do this. However when you realize how much the weather
effects our lives, even in our current level of technological advancement.
last weekend I was in the Jacksonville area and there was a major
golf tournament which was influenced by the weather. I return to the
Atlanta area and another big tournament is also forced to adjust for
weather. It may be different where you are but the weather in most
of the places I can and do fish regularly have had some dicey weather
for about the past 6 months.
How bad does the weather have to be to keep you from fishing? Maybe
it is based on your personal comfort requirements. In that case it
may change in relation to the length of time since your last fishing
opportunity. I drive from 350 to 500 miles one way to fish on the
flats. That means that when I commit to the trip I will do everything
in my power to fish when I arrive. Reading a recent article there
was mention that a light rain may actually favor the angler as the
rain may make the fish less aware of the angler's presence in the
shallow water. On a mountain trout stream the rainy days was a 'must
fish' as the potential for catching large fish was improved. Weather
that affects your safety should not be ignored.
More predictable in our planning to fish is the tide; charts are freely
available to note the tide at a given location. The fact is that weather
can make a difference in your tides. As you move south and the amplitude
of the tides is reduced, a strong wind can have a major affect on
the tides. Tide can be tricky even when you know what it is supposed
to be as the affect can vary depending on where you are fishing; outgoing,
incoming, at the change, or other.
Another weather factor that has been erratic for the past few months
is the temperature. This can be equally important as the tidal movement.
The times I have fished in the Keys it is critical that the water
be within a small range for various species to be active in a an area.
Along with the rain the wind can be a factor in disturbances due to
fronts moving through. As mentioned this may affect the tide level
and the safety of a small craft on the water. Add to that the problems
related to trying to make a cast with accuracy and distance. The wind
will also affect your travel on the water and your drift while you
are fishing. Of course you can not overlook the effects of the moon
and solar system.
Are the conditions ever right?
With all of the factors that can affect a simple fishing trip you
have to wonder if you the conditions are ever favorable. For those
anglers that keep a detailed log it may provide some information on
potential success for varied weather scenarios. With the complexity
of the tidal environment the 'right' conditions could be different
from one angler and species to another.
If you are fortunate enough to be able to be on the water within an
hour you probably can overlook some of the conditions that are less
than ideal. Your investment in time is such that it is worth the gamble.
I am not sure that it is much different though if your time commitment
is greater. If a fishing opportunity comes up infrequently and scheduling
the time includes allowing for a trip to get on water you are likely
to work around some adverse conditions.
I have heard many anglers who say you fish whenever you have the chance
irrespective of the tides, wind, temperatures or rain. That may be
the best plan. Not to say that you can not optimize your trip by making
an effort to select a date when as many factors as possible favor
Knowing that so many factors can determine your success it is wise
that an angler be flexible and resourceful. This can be the difference
between a day on the water and catching fish. If you take note of
the angler that always seems to able to pull out a nice fish they
are persistent but also have some option that works. It may just be
'thinking outside the box' and using an atypical presentation or lure.
Maybe it requires going away from the confidence lure you would normally
We are due some better weather including the weekends. Even if conditions
are not ideal, if it is safe you may as well get out and fish. I know
experienced anglers increase their opportunities to catch fish but
luck must have something to do with catching fish or I might never
have caught anything.
When do you fish and have the best success? If you have some good
advice you want to share with others send it to me and I will post
it. As well, if you have other fishing tips, submit them for additions
to the new 'Tips
and Tricks' section of the site.
Let me know what you think.