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Old 08-21-2011, 03:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Wind direction effects?

I wanted to start a topic that could help me out, along with more than likely helping all others. I have never paid much attention to how the fish bite in correlation to which direction the wind is blowing from. I have heard the old saying about "If it's East, the fish bite the least, and from the West, the fish bite the best." But is this true? Does it really effect the bite in any way or fashion? I ask because it is only gonna be nice 2 or 3 days this week, and the wind is supposed to be from the east every day, or some combination including the east. Thanks for any help guys. I can always count on yall.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wind direction effects?

Geez Boston, I recall when I was 19 and didn't need to sleep. This thing must be weighing heavily on your mind to occupy your time at 3:55 AM!

I have talked about this issue with a great many anglers and they are all over the map with their opinions on the "wind" issue. Myself, I am firmly in the camp of wind direction as a major factor in fishing conditions. Let's review the rules:

Wind from the West, fish bite the best.
Wind from the South, fish take the hook in their mouth.
Wind from the East, fish bite the least.
Wind from the North.......go home and make a ham sandwich 'cause nothing is going to happen out there.

Actually, it really goes more like this:

Wind from the West, fish bite the best.
Wind from the East, fish bite the least.
Wind from the North, do not go forth.
Wind from the South blows bait in their mouth.

Wind is an indicator of the prevailing weather frontal systems. The strength of the fronts, the relative position of the fronts to your location, the isobar conditions, the cloud cover, all converge into a pattern of weather which has huge impact on fishing conditions.

Here in Michigan, a high pressure system from the North with prevailing northerly winds - what we call a Hudson Bay front - generally brings us bluebird skies in the summer with bright sunlight. These conditions generally drive the fish deep and quiescent. If I fish these conditions, I have to go out very early or very late and often have to fish low and slow. I have found fish to be very shy with strong high pressures associated with these conditions.

Westerly winds (including north-westerly conditions) bring us both storms and fair conditions. This is of course the prevailing northern hemisphere, mid-latitude condition and frequently the most productive weather conditions for Michigan fishing. I look for westerly winds in advance of a front. I know most anglers adhere to the rule stating Bass prefer stable barometric conditions, but my own experience is different. I have found the bite to be best when the barometric pressure is falling in advance of a westerly or southerly weather event.

Southerly winds bring us moisture in the form of either humidity or rain. I look for similar fishing conditions as with westerly winds.

Easterly wind conditions are the most difficult for me to work. These are infrequent here in Michigan and generally are associated with wicked weather events. Backdoor fronts, nor'easters, sometimes driving rain, and goofy baros are all things I have observed with easterly winds. Fishing is spotty for me and I have to keep my eye on the intensity of the wind, which can be pretty strong at times from the east.

In the spirit of complete disclosure, I have to admit that even under the most difficult conditions, I still go out and fish. My nemesis is the North wind, but I still fight it because we have such a short fishing season up here. I just want to be out on soft water as often as I can manage.

What I refuse to do is to fish in the rain or with any airborne electricity within 15 miles of my location. If I hear thunder, I go home.

Nice topic Boston!

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Old 08-21-2011, 09:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wind direction effects?

I have heard that the guides on Lake Fork don't go out in an east wind.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wind direction effects?

Boston, go back and look at weather archives for your area...What you are looking for is trends of rising or falling barometric pressures that are associated with a particular wind direction...
If I'm not mistaken, I think you will find the most dramatic, or rapid, barometric pressure changes, are going to be related to winds from the east...
I have been told that, but have never really done an in depth analysis myself...

I, like HawgHunter, fish no matter what the wind direction, purely because of the limited amount of time we have soft water up here....

You can't be selective when you fish more often than not, but you can adjust your presentations accordingly if the prevailing winds tend to alter fish activity...ie, wind from the east, don't waste time tossing fast moving baits, snuggle up to structure and fish them tight and slow, for example??
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wind direction effects?

Hahahaha Hawg, these are the things I lay in bed thinking about at night. Yeah, I was still up and running at 4 am thinkin about the issue. I will keep an eye on the wind, and look into other information to see what I can find. I might have to make an evening trip as their isn't much wind then to begin with. Again, thanks for the posts and information. Now keep it comin.
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wind direction effects?

There's often something to be said for wind direction, but it isn't a hard and fast rule. Most of the reason the bite changes during a specific wind direction is actually in relation to barometric pressure changes; IE: Front activities. A large portion of the wind changes are attributed to fronts and where they are in relation to an overall system. High and Low pressure systems can both generate winds from East, West, North, and South. When you start correlating the weather patterns to the wind directions, you get a hard and fast guide for what's going on.
(The reason many TX guides don't like to fish in an east wind is that many of the lakes are laid in a fashion that the east winds can rip across the entire lake. Too bad for them, we caught 4 fish ten or over in an east wind last spring, one was 14lbs.)
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wind direction effects?

I believe it does have some bearing on the fishes mood, but like some of the others, it doesnt determine if im going fishing or not, I have had some really good days when the east wind was bringing a storm into the area, but im sure it was more the change in barometric pressure that was affecting them, than the east wind.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wind direction effects?

The direction of the wind isn't the problem, the type of front is. I agree with Mo & what he posted.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wind direction effects?

High pressure and bluebird skies have always been unproductive for me.
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wind direction effects?

If it's windy where you are, more than likely I'm fishing close by.
I never get to fish the flat water you see on tv shows. You know what they say about why it's always windy in Texas...

I have seen a good bite die when the wind changes direction for what ever reason. I think it warns the critters of a coming change. I'm not sold on pressure drops and rises as I don't think it would affect more than the first few feet of water since water pressure is so much higher than air anyway. It may cause shallow micro organisms to float up or sink to bottom close to shore kicking off a food chain reaction. Just not sure.
Good thread though...thanks
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