How Wind Affects Bass FishingFitness Gear & Equipment
Weather affects bass fishing. This general statement can be agreed upon by the entire fishing community. However, there is much debate over to what extent weather affects fishing.
The majority of what you were told on this subject by your dad as a child or what you hear from other fishermen is simply myth, or personal opinion. Not to say that none of it is true, and in some cases, it may very well be. But the truth behind weather and its affects on fish behavior is a matter of science, and can be explained by examining facts, that have been tested and proven.
There are 6 weather related factors that affect fishing conditions:
Here we will explore the fourth weather factor that affects bass fishing, which is Wind.
Wind can be used as an indicator of fishing conditions as well as serving as an actual factor itself. Most bass anglers believe that "west is best" and "east is least", meaning the fishing conditions are best with a west wind and worst with an east wind. This is partially true, but as with all the weather related factors, there are exceptions.
Most anglers will argue that fishing is best when there is a west or southwest wind. This argument is based on the assumption that the west wind indicates an approaching low pressure system, which results in a falling barometer and increased fish activity. This is all true, but this system could cause you to miss out on some very productive fishing trips. The barometric pressure will begin to fall ahead of an approaching low pressure system well before the system is close enough to change the wind direction. If a low pressure system is far enough to the southwest, the winds will blow from the east, but the barometer will be falling.
"A south wind is the most reliable indicator of good fishing conditions. South winds indicate an approaching low pressure system from the west or an exiting high pressure system to the east."
Those are ways that wind can serve as an indicator, but wind also serves as an actual factor that affects fishing conditions. Wind creates currents and waves.
Currents created by wind can improve fishing conditions in several ways. First, downwind shorelines bare the brunt of currents, bringing with them large quantities of plankton and zooplankton which accumulate near the shoreline. Shad and other small baitfish flood these windblown shorelines to feast on this accumulated food. The larger predator species, such as largemouth bass, won't be far behind. Currents can also affect fishing conditions when they are caused by an angled wind direction. Currents caused by wind that strike the shoreline at a 45 degree angle or winds that blow along the shoreline can also significantly increase feeding activity. Look for points along these shorelines where calmer water is present on the opposite side. Bass will lay in wait in the calmer waters beyond the point and wait for the current to bring them their prey.
Wind can also affect fishing conditions by the creation of waves. Waves are typically more important factors than currents. In large clear lakes, waves on the downwind shoreline can add oxygen, reduce visibility for the fish, reduce light penetration and cause a spike in fish activity. As a result, the fish can't see clear images towards the surface, making for an excellent day to fish topwater or shallow running crankbaits. This holds true even in sunny conditions. However, the exact opposite applies when fishing muddy or murky waters, and the waves simply stir up the water even more, which generally will push the fish away.
As a rule, winds up to 15 mph are generally good for fishing. If the meteorologist calls for winds of 30mph+, I suggest you take the day off.
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