The success of your session can be greatly affected by the weather. There are so many factors to keep in consideration, from the wind to air pressure. We ask our team what’s the deciding factor and what weather conditions they prefer.
I am not a ‘fair weather fisherman’ so I can fish in any weather with ease. Having invested in essential equipment, I’ve made sure that no weather tantrum will stop me from fishing. As a note to the young guns out there, I was stupid and dumb enough to fish and play carp in lightning storms taking place over my head. A fish of any size is not worth your life. So if there is a big storm coming, take your rods out and put them flat on the ground where you won't step or drive over them and recast after the storm. No storm lasts more than a few hours anyway and fishing is better after it. Lightning striking you and your rod will end your fishing career and you will not fish again, so rather play it safe.
Cold fronts tend to affect fishing a lot, but the occasional ‘lump’ does get caught, so it is worth braving the colds. Rainy season is due to come, and carp like rain as it oxygenates the water; more oxygen and warm water equals more digestion, so they will eat more and better. Heat waves are not good for anglers or fishing as carp tend to stay on the surface in the heat of the day; maybe try a zig and sloppy mix.
It’s sad to say, but time plays a bigger role in my fishing than the weather. I will always keep an eye out on the weather to see if it’s in my favour or not. But like most anglers I will fish whenever the opportunity presents itself, irrespective of the weather conditions. I can, however, wholeheartedly say that I will not load my fishing gear if the wind is pumping, and by pumping, I mean Cape Town crazy wind!
There is one thing I would like to mention; during my last fishing trip it became very evident that air pressure had the biggest influence on the fish’s behaviour. As soon as the pressure stabilised, it was fish on! A barometer would definitely be a worthwhile investment.
The weather is something we cannot control. I just adapt to whatever Mother Nature throws at me – there is no time to wait for perfect conditions.
Low-pressure systems (normally cloudy and rainy days) are often great for fishing, but not so much for camping. This is my absolute favourite time to fish. The temperature is normally just right and you can just relax in the bivvy the entire day. Fish also tend to feed pretty nicely; it makes for a perfect session.
High-pressure systems, normally recognised by high temperatures and almost no wind, are the worst in my opinion. The carp are suspended off the bottom and do not feed much. It’s also very hot and humid, which is unpleasant when camping.
Weather conditions play a big part in carp fishing, and will influence the water temperature, wind directions, air pressure and oxygen concentrations within the water. The state of these conditions will affect the location as well as how and when carp will feed.
It is important to know from which direction the wind comes – natural food items will be pushed in the direction of the wind by the current. This is one of the reasons why fishing with the wind into your face can be more productive.
Continuous warm weather with a light breeze or no wind at all will drain the oxygen from the water, and this will minimise the carp’s feeding activity. Cold and warm weather also affects the depth the carp will swim in; this is clearly visible during the winter and summer months.
Weather conditions are something to keep in mind when planning your next session (tactical approach) and are not to determine whether you must go fish or stay at home.
I always try to paint a picture in my head when going fishing, and take different factors into the equation before deciding when and where is best to fish. Of course, we don’t all have the luxury of being Danny Fairbrass and fishing all the time; therefore sessions can’t always be planned around ideal weather conditions. However, when going fishing, I’ll always go online and check out the weather forecast for a few days leading up to and after my session to put things into perspective. All venues are different, but at my current target venue I’ve noticed that:
- The best time to fish is just after a cold front (when water temperatures start to rise).
- Wind and rain can help induce the carp to feed, as dissolved oxygen levels rise due to the turbulence caused in the water.
- A slight breeze or wind is a good thing, however if the South Easter starts blowing more than five metres per second, fishing can become extremely challenging.
- The ‘perfect weather for fishing' isn’t always perfect. 🙂 A mildly overcast day with a light South Easter makes me feel like a kid the night before Christmas.
Wijan Pretorius (Guest Contributor)
Weather forecasts will certainly not keep me at home when the opportunity arises. I don't mind fishing in wind and rain, nor hot sunny days. However, I am more interested in air pressure rather than air temperature, and that is one thing I will take note of. Once the pressure has dropped, I like to feed a little bit more. I feel that in these lower conditions, the chances of carp having their heads down are more likely. When it's hot and the barometer is pushed to its limits, I prefer to fish a single hookbait. I will also add a small PVA stick with a plain mielie bomb mix to attract a curious wondering carp, rather than trying to get them on the feed. Hookbaits are normally the same, as I favour big hookbaits. I fish a 22mm boilie with a 15mm popup, 99 percent of the time.