How to

Bad weather fishing options

AFTER working all week how many times have you had strong winds and big seas play havoc with your weekend fishing plans? Hundreds I’ll bet – the same as me. Over the years I’ve always found that it pays to have a few foul weather fishing options up your sleeve. When I lived in southern NSW I had a very handy selection of locations and species to fish for when the weather turned to crap. Bad weather down there included a southerly change with rain and strong winds, big seas from an east coast low, howling westerly winds in August and September and flooded river systems from heavy rain.

If the seas were up I had the rivers and estuaries to fish as long as there hadn’t been heavy rain. These could be fished in winds up to 15 or 20 knots as long as you found some shelter. We enjoyed some great bass, estuary perch and bream fishing in the Shoalhaven River west of Nowra when the seas pounded in at 5 metres out on the coast. If was just a big ground swell we had St Georges Basin to fish for flathead, bream and jew. I can remember fishing the Basin and listening to mountainous seas crashing on the nearby beaches. If the seas and winds were too strong to fish the Shoalhaven or St Georges Basin I’d head west to Kangaroo Valley and fly fish for carp or even fish a southerly for rainbow trout at Fitzroy Falls. The Valley is a mass of hills and mountains and I had numerous pools and stretches of river to fish in just about any wind as long as it wasn’t flooded.

If the entire coastline was flooded or overwhelmed by huge seas from a big east coast low, we had the Snowy Mountains to fish just 5 hours drive away. With several days to spare we’d head west and fish the Thredbo or Eucumbene rivers over summer or Jindabyne and Eucumbene lakes in winter when the rivers were closed. This offered a great change of scenery and species but also the promise of some fresh smoked trout when we got home. It sure beat sitting around at home complaining about the weather and lack of fishing opportunities.

Up here at Hervey Bay we have no shortage of bad weather at various times of the year. We get the odd bottom extremities of cyclones over summer, strong northerlies in spring and early summer, southerlies and some very heavy rain that floods the entire Sandy Straits system with dirty water. Some of the rains can put local fishing out of the question for weeks on end and so can a cyclone. The only options there are the local impoundments for bass and barra. That’s as long as they haven’t also been subjected to heavy rains and aren’t flooded. If the flooding is only local we also have Borumba Dam on the Sunshine Coast for bass and saratoga.

The secret to finding foul weather fishing options is first determine the issue in not being able to fish your usually haunts. This normally comes down to large seas that rule out offshore, rock and beach fishing, flooding that rules out estuary and river fishing or strong winds that can rule out most fishing. Have a location and plan of attack that can overcome these problems and you’ll at least have a fishing option for those weekends when you have the time and need to wet a line. Weekends or days of bad conditions are also perfect to take a drive and do some exploring of the local waterways and just look for options to consider in various foul weather circumstances. There’s nearly always somewhere to fish if you have an open mind and need to get your fix. Trips such as these can easily be disguised as a “family day out”.

Just on that point. It pays to really study weather maps if you plan to travel outside your area during bad weather. It’s no use driving or towing a boat a hundred miles only to find out that the bad weather and conditions you’re escaping from are wider spread than you anticipated. Get on the BOM website and study just how widespread the bad weather and flooding is before getting the gear ready or hooking the boat up. Most east coast lows or spells of really bad weather are usually well spread out and can cause mountainous seas, flooding and strong winds over a very large area. This is why our Snowy Mountains trout option 5 hours away was always a good one to have up our sleeve. On a safety note – DO NOT travel in flood conditions and NEVER try to cross flooded creeks. If the conditions aren’t safe for driving or boating don’t go – under any circumstances.

If the weather conditions are that bad that there are no fishing options it’s always worth looking at doing some tackle maintenance because the fishing can often be red hot after a big blow. That bad weather stirs everything up and gives the estuaries a good flush out. The tail end of that bad weather and flood conditions will usually see fish in feed mode because they may not have been able to feed during floods or rough seas. Hungry fish and food washed around or out of estuaries is a perfect time to be hitting it hard.

What's your reaction?

Related Posts

Load More Posts Loading...No More Posts.