Bass Fishing Weather and Safety

Recently I was on the water guiding a father and son party on a fishing trip. We were fishing a couple of main-lake humps down on the south end of the lake and spooning up crappie, white bass, black bass, and yellow bass. The bite was good and even I sort of got caught up in the action. A bank of clouds had rolled in low from the northwest and they covered us before we had a chance to outrun them. The wind turned from a southerly breeze to a powerful northwest wind and within about three minutes we were bobbing in three to five foot rollers. Quickly getting the tackle stowed beneath the decks I dug out rain gear for the three of us and we prepared for the worst. With life vests zipped and fastened we turned into the wind for the ride back to StowAway. The waves were to far apart to get on top of them so we just took them one at a time. The Mercury motor groaned as we would climb each wave. To keep the bow up I had to goose it up a wave, let off the throttle and fall into the trough and goose it again for the next wave. My party was probably thinking that they could have gone offshore and had better conditions than this and I was amazed again at how rough a lake could get. Had we been in anything less than a twenty footer I think we would have had a tough time getting back safely. We took our time and made our way back up the lake to the marina. My clients were from Houston and don’t get out on the water very often. The afternoon was a real adventure for them and I must admit it was a rush to me as well. Mother Nature deals out some tricky situations at times that can take you by surprise. Sometimes weather builds up and is easy to spot and avoid but weather can also roll in low and quickly before you are ready for it. Changes in air temperature and wind direction are definitely factors to take note of when on the water. Especially, when the wind shifts one hundred and eighty degrees. Also clouds patterns can help you make on the spot weather observations. Low rolling clouds, thunderheads, and cloud banks are all indicators of possible bad weather. Remember to always check the weather when planning a fishing trip. A small radio tuned to one of the many weather stations will also help you avoid unsafe weather conditions. When fishing in unstable weather, rain gear and lifejackets are a must. Good luck fishing. Bill Cannan Professional Fishing Guide

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