Saturday, April 6, 2013

Chapter 2 - Weather & Wind

New weekend, and a new chapter release. This time I will write about weather and wind. As you might know, both these factors sometimes play a huge role in how the fishing is going to be. But before I start writing about conditions and what usually is good for pike fishing, I need to say that there are no rules without exceptions! Never forget that sometimes, even the conditions you believe beeing the worst possible delivers better than the days with visually much better conditions.

This chapter is adapted to our archipelago fishing but generally works the same in bigger lakes. A good thing by fishing in our area is that you will always have the possibility to fish on locations where the wind is pushing waves up againt the mainland. This is in my opinion the main rule when deciding where to go. Check what wind direction there is at the moment, and even better if you know what the wind direction has been the last couple of days.

And why is that you might ask. I can reveal that a upcoming chapter is going to explain the thinking a bit more, but already here you need to think where the baitfish will be located. Wind creates waves, and waves creates water movement in its direction. This means that small organisms such as plankton will be forced to follow the water movement direction. And by this, small sized baitfish will follow the plankton to feed. This chain then continues to even bigger fish, such as perch and our beloved pikes. 

Plankton <- Small fish <- Bigger fish <- PIKES

With this knowledge in your mind, you realize that hungry individuals will be hunting where the wind is pushing against. As mentioned earlier, there are no rules without exceptions so of course you will find pikes elsewhere. But personally, I believe that pikes standing outside of this rule, is not as easy to catch as the ones that obviously are hunting within the "wind rule". 
This is also the explanation why It's important to look what the weather has been like over time. To state an example; If there has been hard to intermediate south-west wind for 3-5 days in a row, there is no reason to start fishing elsewhere than at south-west located bays, edges etc.

Another great rule to remember, is that when pikes has been found, memorize in which direction the bay was located. When going to a new place for the day, have a look at the sea map and look for bays located in the same direction as the one you acutally caught pikes in. If you were catching pikes in a west oriented bay, there is no reason going to a bay close by which is located south and so on. 

Sunny and calm wind. Pleasant conditons to be out. But will the pikes be active?

So with the wind and its importance covered, we also need to think about the weather itself. This is a part where fishermans are really splitted up when it comes to what weather they prefer the best. I prefer when the conditions are quite ruff. Wind should be around 4-7m/s, enough to circulate the water so more oxygen is created, and it also makes the water a bit coloured. More oxygen is a factor that make the pikes more active and is easily created when water moves a lot and oxygen rich surface air is blended into the water.

I also prefer when there are rich amount of clouds, this is of several reasons. One of them is that the water gets less visibility, and pikes tend to be less shy than they are when the sun is shining through the water levels. Most conditions are fishable, and you can always find and adjust your fishing location after condions. You have to accept the weather itself, but you can always adjust your fishing location depending on wind direction and strength. And to be honest, wind is more important than the weather, in my opinion. 

Right time, Right Wind, Great catch!

Sunny weather is very common during spring, and this could be both good and bad. The good thing is that it heats up shallow bays quickly, and pikes asamble in groups to not waste more energy than needed. This is one of the reasons why It's very usual to see lots of pikes in the shallow bays the weeks after ice meltdown and up to spawning period. The bad thing with sun, is that the pikes are getting exposed easily for their own predators. In our case, this means our sea eagles and cormorants. Of course pikes are not that stupid that they still stand in the most visible, clear parts of the bay when sun is shining up the whole area partly because of this. And a connecting aspect is that when the sun most of times lights up the water and increase the visibility at some areas, pikes get less active.

To sum up this chapter, I would like to say that most important to think of is the wind direction since pikes often follow with the water movement for several reasons. Sunny spring days heats up the bay temperatures fast and starts the migration of the pikes into them.

And remember, fishing is alot up to what yourself believe in. This is a part that is going to be reflected in our next chapter!

Next weekend; Chapter 3 - Learn Your Gear

Daniel Wickman 13-04-06