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Wind Direction


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13 replies to this topic

#1 hatrix

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Posted July 03 2011 - 09:50 PM

So it was fairly windy today and it got me wondering about something. My grandfather use to always say "When the wind is from the east fish bite the least, when it's from the west that's when fishing is the best." and basically it was true at least out on lake Erie where we would go for perch and walleye together. If it was easterly it was usually a tuff day but if it was westerly you had a limit in like 30 min. So my question is does that also apply to smaller bodies of water? I don't know if that saying is really true but it seemed pretty coincidental since the direction of the wind usually determined how the day would be.
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#2 PondBoss

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Posted July 03 2011 - 10:05 PM

I would say it's purely coincidental, I love it when the wind starts the day blowing from the East. It helps me not have to paddle as much to get back to my spots. And in the afternoon when I'm done, I hope it's blowing from the West to help me get back after a tired day of fishing. lol I catch just as many fish going either way and with the wind blowing from every direction.

Interestingly enough though, a similar question was posted to Uncle Homer in Bassmaster a month or so ago, and he quoted a positive rhyme for each wind direction. Keep a line in the water regardless of wind direction and I think you've half way wont the battle. ;)

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#3 Jim McC

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Posted July 03 2011 - 11:27 PM

Have you ever heard of an "old wive's tale"? Well, that's an old "grandfather's tale"?

#4 RoLo

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Posted July 03 2011 - 11:50 PM

Wind direction per se is not the culprit, but how it might affect other conditions such as lighting conditions (short-term affect)
and water temperatures (long-term affect). For instance, cold-fronts are typically accompanied by a northwesterly flow
which tends to be a negative event. Warm-fronts are typically accompanied by wind out of the southern hemisphere,
which tends to be a positive event, but I wouldn't set my watch by either one.
I doubt that wind "direction" alone could dictate our success, because not every bass carries a compass :D

Roger

'WHO' Is Right is Not Important.....'WHAT' Is Right is All That Matters      ( Lake Wales, Florida )


#5 ripinthem

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Posted July 04 2011 - 12:27 AM

I like a moderate wind, but not from the east. Psychological, or not, an east wind just stinks.

#6 Sam

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Posted July 04 2011 - 04:02 AM

Along the Virginia coast's tidal rivers, when the wind comes in from the east it backs up the water and destroys the tides.

The water is held in place with little movement and the bite decreases or evaporates.

Based on this situation, I would think your grandfather's wisdom is correct.

There are a number of articles regarding wind and you may find them on this site or in the literature. Do some research and come to your own decision based on what you read and how the fish react to wind from various directions.

I think you may be surprised at how smart your grandfater really was!!! :)
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#7 Bassin_Fin@tic

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Posted July 04 2011 - 04:35 AM

I used to believe that too but after I have gotten far more experience and fished many more different locations and lake types my observations are:First off I agree with Rolo.ALSO if you think about it a lot of it can have to do with the particular region you are in or even the particular body of water.(as Sam started to describe) The topography of the lake can be important as well when factoring in wind direction. For quick example. Take a long tapering point on one end of the lake. If you get strong winds,especially over the course of several days,blowing on it or especially across it,then you can bet your bottom dollar that your going to produce better than if it is dead calm. There are certain places I fish when I despise an east wind or places where I'm dying to get a good east wind. Even a place where I absolutely kill them on a strong north wind even if it is freezing cold for the most part simply because the wind generally pushes plankton,insects,bait,and predators toward a desired lake structre or cover type etc.

One thing I am a firm believer of though is that "swirling winds" or wind/breeze that takes on several different directions over the course of the day or even the hour makes for a real s****y day on the water most times. Also makes it hard for me to know where to start or stick with while I'm there

#8 Dwight Hottle

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Posted July 04 2011 - 09:19 AM

Wind direction can have a strong effect on larger bodies of water. Sustained strong east winds will actually turn lake erie over by bringing the colder/deeper waters around Buffalo (eastern basin) to the warmer/medium deep waters of the central basin. The surface temps can drop 5-10 degrees. It does shut down the catching for several days to a week.. Strong west winds suck the water from the shallow/warmer western basin & leave some marinas without any water! This pattern happens seemingly every year. Sustain wind speeds almost always dirty the water & reduce visibility greatly. Normal winds speeds from the east do not really have much effect on my catch ratios. Sam, Rolo & Bassin_Fin@tic have all covered the topic pretty well.

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#9 James Yalem

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Posted July 04 2011 - 10:17 AM

An East wind is opposite of the normal trade winds in the US, except for the deep South and Florida. In MO, I cannot catch bass on an East wind. OTOH, in Florida it is the best wind because it is the normal trade wind. When I fished in FL, like Okochobee, the worst wind was a southwest wind.

#10 Catt

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Posted July 04 2011 - 10:33 AM

Wind direction is one of those conditions I can’t control so I deal with it ;)
Instead of telling God how big your storm is tell the storm how big your God is!

#11 vapredhunter

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Posted July 04 2011 - 01:19 PM

East winds usually follow cold fronts. As a front moves in you get west or south wind and fish feed up as the front moves in. Then as the front moves out leaving east or north east wind and fish bite less after the front moves out until the weather stabilzes again.

#12 RoLo

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Posted July 04 2011 - 02:24 PM

Wind direction can have a strong effect on larger bodies of water. Sustained strong east winds will actually turn lake erie over by bringing the colder/deeper waters around Buffalo (eastern basin) to the warmer/medium deep waters of the central basin. The surface temps can drop 5-10 degrees. It does shut down the catching for several days to a week.. Strong west winds suck the water from the shallow/warmer western basin & leave some marinas without any water! This pattern happens seemingly every year. Sustain wind speeds almost always dirty the water & reduce visibility greatly. Normal winds speeds from the east do not really have much effect on my catch ratios. Sam, Rolo & Bassin_Fin@tic have all covered the topic pretty well.


Dwight described a good example of the Long-Term effect of sustained winds. During strong winds from a sustained direction, warm surface water from the upwind side of the lake is physically blown across the lake toward the lake's downwind side.
When windblown surface water reaches the downwind shore, the tapering slope of the lake's bottom acts like a wedge, rolling the surface layer underneath. This produces a warm subsurface layer of water moving in the opposite direction (against the wind). Over time, this causes a "rotary action" throughout the entire lake. In lakes that stratify however, this rotary action tends to be limited to the depth of the thermocline, which is a thin water layer of greater density. But during the fall when the thermocline begins to atrophy and eventually rupture, the entire lake is vulnerable to turning over, an event of course we call the Fall Turnover.

In lakes that stratify, a strong and prolonged wind from the same direction can produce a so-called "seiche".
A seiche is a "tilted" thermocline that is actually deeper on the lake's downwind side, where hydraulic build-up forces the thermocline lower (deeper). Meanwhile, surface water that was blown away from the lake's upwind side is replaced by cooler, deeper water vacuumed from below, a process that tends to pull the thermocline higher (shallower).
It doesn't take much imagination to appreciate the effect this might have on fishing.

If we include "tidal waters" we can expand on the influence of wind direction. Here again though, the phenomenon is not dependent on wind direction in isolation, but in this case depends on wind direction as it correlates to tidal direction.
For instance, a strong wind blowing in the same direction as the incoming tide will cause abnormally high water (flood tide).
In contrast, a robust wind that's blowing against the incoming tide can greatly reduce the water depth at High Tide.
Both situations will have a strong influence on location, because abnormally high water increases the area of shallow flats, while abnormally low water sharply reduces available shoal area.

Roger

'WHO' Is Right is Not Important.....'WHAT' Is Right is All That Matters      ( Lake Wales, Florida )


#13 00 mod

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Posted July 04 2011 - 03:45 PM

The only thing I know is if I find a bank that the wind is blowing directly onto, especially a wind blown point, I AM fishing there! Don't know how much it really happens, but I have heard several times, the wind can blow the bait fish, that aren't strong enough, into that windblown bank, and bass seem to target the weaker bait fish! It has worked for me in many instances, so I am sticking with it!

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#14 slonezp

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Posted July 04 2011 - 04:08 PM

Wind direction can have a strong effect on larger bodies of water. Sustained strong east winds will actually turn lake erie over by bringing the colder/deeper waters around Buffalo (eastern basin) to the warmer/medium deep waters of the central basin. The surface temps can drop 5-10 degrees. It does shut down the catching for several days to a week.. Strong west winds suck the water from the shallow/warmer western basin & leave some marinas without any water! This pattern happens seemingly every year. Sustain wind speeds almost always dirty the water & reduce visibility greatly. Normal winds speeds from the east do not really have much effect on my catch ratios. Sam, Rolo & Bassin_Fin@tic have all covered the topic pretty well.

Same issue here on the western shores of Lake Michigan. The water turns to choclate milk.
I also fish a relatively shallow body of water averaging 4-5ft deep. Warm winds from the south and west, and cold winds from the north and east have a dramatic effect on water temps. Surface temps can rise and fall 10-15 degrees in a couple days if the winds are strong enough. In my experience, fishing Lake Michigan for smallies, a little ripple on the surface no matter what direction, is good. For salmon, it doesn't seem to matter that much. On that other body of water, I believe the bite is more temperature related and fish seem to get lockjaw quickly.
Is "basstiality" the same as sleeping with the fishes?

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