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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Winds out of the east, fishing is least
Winds out of west, fishing is best!

Just curious. I've heard this all my life and was now wondering if wind direction has any affect on fish bite. Especially for saltwater angling, do you captains favor one wind over another. Thanks in advance for your replies.

Blessed to be a blessing,
 

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Hunters Haven, I was taught by Commercial Fishermen that you can't even get a woman pregnant when the wind is coming from the east! :D
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK, I appreciate all the replies but so far i'm reading what people prefer and not how it affects the fish themselves, with the exception of sinkerman. I mean like barometric pressure affects their feeding. Does the wind have more to do with boating than the actual fish bite itself? If I ever get to go on a more regular basis I'll keep a log and see what happens.
 

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Think about it like this, A fish is going to try and be comfortable, as safe as he reasonably can be and he will eat but unless he's hungry he won't put undue effort into feeding. When conditions first change unless they make it easier for a fish to "make his living" he probably will not put forth a lot of effort to feed. He will probably first head towards a more comfortable location and then worry about where he's gonna find his next meal. FISH ARE JUST LIKE ME AND YOU THOUGH. WE WILL FIND SOMETHING TO EAT AFTER THE EFFECTS OF THE LAST MEAL WEAR OFF. That being said, how soon that is is determined by the fishes metabolic rate. Water temperature and activity are the biggest influences on metabolic rate and they are always variable. If a fish is comfortable and feels safe he will metabolize food faster and eat more. If a wind change muddies the water in one location it will also clear the water in another location unless it is a strong wind. The reason I say that is the wind affects every place a little differently But a strong wind will usually muddy the water regardless of direction. East winds are often storm related so they tend to be associated with stong currents and muddy water. Terrible conditions for sightfeeders near the beach but strong tidelines form and on the clear side(offshore side) the sight feeders will gather to eat there. Muddy water makes drum feel safer and the extra turbulence helps give them an edge in catching small fish and supposedly tumbles the sand fleas around a little more so they tend to like that type wind.
 

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I'll fish an east wind, but it's usually uncomfortable for the crew. Sea's (offshore) are not nice on a east wind.. that bein said,, Like Al mentions above, I'll fish the "other" side of the rock or ledge if bottom fishin. Wind direction? You can still catch fish, just might have to adjust your gameplan a bit.

Inshore/nearshore/inland... I'm not sure on.. Offshore East ='s gettin beat up
 

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As Sinker Man said, its Location, Location, Location. A wind at Topsail might be good from one direction, but not for Emerald Isle. At Ocracoke Island, a west wind may be good, but at Kill Devil Hills maybe not. At KDH, a west wind off the mainland, flattens out the waves and you might as well go by the fish market on the way home. An East wind kicks it up and causes muddy water which the bottom feeders like. A North or South wind brings the sightfeeders in closer to shore because the water is clearer. Long story short, wind direction has different a affects on different locations. Obviously any STRONG wind is dangerous on the water, especially the open water. Safety is the most important decision.
 
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I'm trying not to write a book here but volumes could be written on how wind affects fishing. Here are a few ways the wind changes conditions in the nearshore coastal areas.
Onshore wind (perpendicular to the coast line) Light but steady onshore winds tend to settle things down and build longer spaces between the breaks in the bars by a slow leveling of the bars in most places. If not interrupted they can push a lot of water landward in bays that are facing the wind or have a lot of distance between them and the barrier islands. Example Pamlico and Albemarle sounds. The wind pushes the water into the sound during flood tides and holds it back during ebb tides furthering the effect and piling freshwater (which is lighter than saltwater and therefore on top of the saltwater) up in the river systems. this scatters the frehwater fish out making them harder to catch. At the same time off the beach a ways water to replace the top layer being pushed by the wind is replaced with water from deeper and deeper until a condition called upwelling occurs. Colder water coming from the bottm containing more nutrients and zoo plankton is suddenly exposed to more sunlight creating an algae bloom and an abundance of zooplankton which in turn concentrates baitfish and then bigger fish in that water which is slowly making it's way toward the beach. If the wind doesn't change for several days it can flood the mainland while pulling fish from offshore right into the breakers. Stronger onshore winds tend to increase the speed of these occurences and push the water from the shallows on the backside of the mainland exposing areas Below the lowest of low tide marks. Strong onshore winds tends to build up the beaches and dunes.
 

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I'll toss in a couple notes.. from what I know on inshore is that wind can push bait and also can be used to a boaters advantage for manuevering.

Many times bait will "hang" on protected sides (i.e. grasses, obstructions of some sort, etc..), where the bait is, usually there's predator fish somewhere close by. I've seen this work in fresh and salt water... usually I just dont have the patience to use it to my advantage....

Just another couple cents toss'd in the kitty
 

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Re: Is there one ounce of truth in this? Chapter 2

Offshore winds tend to be just the opposite of onshore winds.They tend to push the lighter freshwater further out into the sounds. At first they cause the surf to lay down and flatten out the seas. Uninterrupted they will create a condition called bottom welling where the upper layer of water moving offshore is replaced by water coming inshore along the bottom which is usually cooler but dingy. After a couple of days the surf and on out for a few hundred yards will be "muddy" and the longer mainland creeks will be noticebly lower in their upper reaches. Stronger winds will not only fill the surf with sand and flotsom from the dunes but have a much greater effect on the sounds and mainland creeks. Different locales behave differently in the sounds and creeks due to differences such as whether there are trees protecting the creeks from the brunt of the wind and how paralell the creek runs with the wind, mouth orientation and shape, flow restrictions and the like.
Quartering onshore winds create longshore currents that increase more with wind strength than time. These longshore currents transport a lot of sand and dig out the troughs and breaks in the sandbars. Light quartering onshore winds are generally good for fishing but strong ones will make surf and pier and offshore fishing tough at the least.
 

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One "other thing" There is an excellent article on Barometric pressures effect on fishing in the articles. It was written by DR. David Ross a fisheries Scientist at Wood's Hole. It is something you shouldn't put off reading. To find it scroll up to the top of the page and click on "Fishing Articles". When the articles home page comes up scroll down to "Back to School". Click on that and down near the bottom of page 2 is an article called "The Pressure Myth" by Dr. David Ross. If you read that I'll bet you that you'll scratch your head and wonder why you hadn't thought about that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Now this has been what I call a valueable discussion. I appreciate all the input from everyone. I hope others, especially some of the newcomers are reading and learning as I am. It will be interesting to keep a log and note the catch under different atmospheric conditions. Generally when I get to go I try to fish from the beach out to about 7-10 miles for spanish and kings. I'm somewhat limited because of boat size/gas capacity. I'll post some reports and let you know how it turns out. Thanks again!
 

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Gery, my understanding of why fish don't seem to bite as well during high atmospheric conditions is simply the intensity of the sunlight. A close friend of mine was complaining of his run of bad luck freshwater fishing as of late and blaming it on the barometer. He was saying that the pressure was to high. I told him "If that barometer is saying that it is a liar." He asked me what I meant by that and I told him . "I just got off the phone with Jimmy and he said he was finally getting into 30 -50 fish days." Jimmy is a veteran tournament bass angler that specializes in doodling worms and fishing a jigging spoon at depths of 25' -60'. This time of year he is a favorite on the local tournaments. If high pressure gave the lock jaw then he would be in deep trouble. I think if you log your catches thouroughly to include time of day and depth along with cloudy or sunny you will find that the fish tend to stay up in the water column during cloudy days and during times when the water is cooler than ideal for that species. During the summer fish the top of the water column early and late in the day. When the sun starts beaming down instead of across the water they will move down to a more comfortable level let breakfast digest while they circle slowly around a reef or some structure or cruise around looking for a temperature break and the next meal. During that time it generally it will take more than just a couple of baits drug across the surface to bring them up.Al
 

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I don't have a B.S. in fisheries science. Like Sinker Man said, fish is hungry the fish will eat. Inshore fishing, the wind has to be 30-40 knots to stop me. I went yesterday afternoon on the boat, and the wind was sse at 20-30 knots. The water was real choppy, it was a pain catching live bait, but it did not stop the speckled trout bite.:)
 
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