Learn to fish soft plastics- Weather to fish?
Yep, silly question, of course we should go fish.
Well I used to think so, but as I am more time pressed these days and the brownie points are sometimes hard to come by, I don't want to burn them up on a trip with ordinary conditions and outcomes. Sure its great just to get out, or maybe I'm just getting wiser in my old age, but I want my time on the water to be more productive.
So we are here to discuss weather. So by that I mean, wind, cloud and rain and sun. What conditions are best? Well again it depends on your fishing, deep-water soft plastics are probably less reliant on weather conditions up top, at least for the fish. But in most cases it is what is safe and comfortable for the angler to fish in.
Lets start with wind, well I dislike fishing in wind, it makes me cranky and I have less patience to stick out at a spot if I am being buffeted around. One of my old mentors said that you should never go fishing in strong winds as the fish don't bite. Well I am not sure about that, but I know that it is sometimes the case, many lessons have been learnt after coming back with just experience and no fish. Maybe it just unsettles them too.
Some wind on the other hand is almost essential, especially in the more tropical locations to at least be little comfortable. I always find a gentle to moderate land breeze, a good condition to fish as it generally promotes calmer water, some air movement and generally bring less rain. But light and variable winds are best as they allow you to target more areas where the fish might be rather than where you want to be.
Cloudy conditions can sometimes bring out the best in predators. If you think about fish anatomy, they do not have eyelids, so staring directly into the sun close to the surface on a sunny day will not be pleasant. It does stand to reason however that fish may be more active in lower light conditions such as dawn and dusk as the light conditions are not a bright, especially for surface predators, like mackerel, tuna and the like. Cloudy conditions can sometimes replicate this and can often extend the morning and afternoon bite periods.
Rainy conditions, well I don't know too many anglers that like fishing in the rain. Rain normally means there have been unsettled conditions and a low barometer that can be more the point. However the weather change before the rain can be a hot bite, see our other articles on barometric pressure . Fishing after the rain can also bring out the predators with new food being swept down drains and channels into the main water body can promote a hot bite. Similarly you can get good results for Jew and sharks at the river mouths after a lot of rain as the fresh pushes out the bait and other stuff to the ocean predators for their consumption, its all about perspective really.
Sunny conditions on the other hand bring their own challenges, such as hot conditions, sunburn and the like, they do however tend to radiate heat and increase the water temperatures ever so slightly that can sometimes affect your target species behaviour. The hottest bites I have had with flathead have been at about 3:30pm on a falling tide with cloudless conditions with a high barometer.
The big old flathead (and the young ones too) wander up into the shallow water at high tide and progressively edge their way off the flat as the tide recedes after becoming supercharged in the warm water up in the shallows. They liven up and will go anything that looks remotely like it moved and if it didn't, they might give it a nudge anyway to make sure. This can be spectacular fishing with soft plastics.
In summary- Weather to fish?
- Calmer winds allow you to target where the fish might be, rather than where you want to be.
- Cloudy conditions can bring out the surface predators, or bring deeper dwellers up into the shallows
- Fish the weather change before the rain and the run off channels after the rain. Don't fish in rain that just dumb and nobody likes it.
- Sunny conditions increase water temperature on the flats and can make sight casting to fish in any location easier for the fisherman and its good fun, just remember to slip, slop, slap.
Till next time, have fun, fish responsibly and remember take only what you need and post the rest to social media.