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Weather not right for catching

As I get older, I may be getting a bit wiser, or maybe it’s lazier.

This weekend had so many negative factors going on in the fishing world, I stayed on dry ground. That was a weird feeling to be on dry ground on a Saturday.

I always said the best time to go fishing is when you can. Maybe I have been wrong all these years. I could have gone fishing yesterday, I could have gone today, but I did not. Should I go or should I stay? That used to not be an option.

Weekends were made for fishing, regardless of conditions. I made the decision to work over fishing.

Do I have fever? No.

Cold, rain, sleet, hail and during any mile per hour wind, I have fished through it. I have ridden out storms from Lake Fork, Texas, to Lake Seminole, Ga., and all types of lakes, swamps and reservoirs in between.

I can handle all of that if a reason, an incentive, like casting for cash in a nine-hour bass tournament exists. But to pleasure fish on this Saturday, just did not seem like a very wise thing to do.

The barometric pressure is the major culprit. I do not like a bright blue sky and cold wind. The wind is fine by me. I don’t get cold with the right gear on, but this time of year the cold wind knocks the surface water temperature down fast.

That is not a good thing in mid-February during the bass and white perch pre-spawn. The air pressure was high and rising yesterday, and I expect the same thing today.

It takes three to four days for the post frontal funk to fade away. Fish have a strike zone that varies according to the conditions. The zone could be as wide as 10 feet or as narrow as 2 inches.

The activity of whatever species of fish we pursue depends on a host of factors including water clarity, water temperature and most important to me, barometric pressure.

A pretty, bright, blue sky may be a great day to be on the water fishing, but it is certainly not the best time to be on the water to catch.

There was a small local bass club competing yesterday on a dammed up bayou lake that’s subject to get very, very muddy and rise real fast, so I passed up on that. No thanks.

A win would cover expenses and leave you with a couple paid meals at McBurger. Way too much work goes into a nine-hour bass tournament during the pre-spawn under post frontal conditions in mid-February for that.

Tournament fishing is hard work if you plan to win — and who plans to place second?

Some tournament casters set goals for a tournament like 12 pounds or catch the five bass limit. I have two goals. One is to win the thing, and the other is to land the second largest check of any event — big bass of the day.

They can have second place and all that other stuff. A weekend like this in the bass fishing world on an oxbow lake equates to maybe a bite every hour and half. If you miss just one of those bites you could fall one fish short of a five bass tournament limit.

We had 5 inches of rain early this week followed by lows in the 40s that hammered the surface water temperature down several degrees.

The male bass and white perch had just started to move up to thin water and think about building nests in preparation for the upcoming spawn. Some big sows were not yet on the beds, but they were cruising the shallows and full of roe.

Were is the key word. The surface water temperature prior to this week’s weather system topped out at 59 degrees in some, wind protected, shallow flats and coves. I would take a guess and say the water temperature today is approximately 52 to 53. Those few degrees make a tremendous difference in catching and fishing.

So now I think the best time to go fishing is when you think you should.

 

Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at fishingwitheddie@bellsouth.net.

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