Summer fishing weather patterns mean several days of great fishing weather followed by a day or two of wind and rain. When fall arrives, that pattern reverses itself, and we will have a day or two of calm weather followed by several days of wind, usually out of the north and northeast.
One or Two Good Days
Anglers looking for the fall bite need to take advantage of those one or two good days to get to the fish. Often that means weekday fishing, something that working stiffs have a hard time doing.
What Can We Do
For those of us who have to sit out the bad fishing weather on the weekend, there are some things we can do to get ready for the occasional calm fall day.
I took a group out one day, a day that brought marginal winds at best. We stayed inshore to get out of the wind, but we failed to get on the fish. The tides were backwards and we could not stay for the bite that comes on the incoming tide in the area we fished.
- Neglecting the Obvious
The reason for our early departure was a blown out wheel bearing on the right rear wheel of my tandem axle trailer. Maybe I was living right, but the wheel decided to separate from the hub as I rolled into the bait shop. We limped home sixty miles on three tires, fearing a similar failure on one of the remaining wheels.
- Routine Maintenance
The point here is that nothing can take the place of routine maintenance. It had been a year since I looked at the bearings. They looked fine, so I did not repack them. This failure was a mystery, because the hub was still full of grease. Bearing failures normally occur on a wheel that is run dry of grease. While the wind howled, I spent this weekend installing new bearings and races all the way around.
- Routine Everything
Routine maintenance also applies to the rest of your fishing gear. If you can't fish, you can clean things. Instead of sitting around complaining about the weather, invite your fishing buddy over with his tackle and have a cleaning party.
- Tackle Maintenance
Field stripping and overhauling reels; rewrapping rod guides and eyes; straightening out that tackle box; all of these are things you never seem to have time to do. Yet all of these are things that frustrate you when you're on the water.
- Even the Outboard
For those of us who are more mechanically inclined, a new water pump on the outboard isn't out of the question either.
The fish you lost because of a hanging drag; that trip that was ruined because of a wheel bearing; the old line that broke; they can all be avoided if you take advantage of the time on your hands when the fishing weather turns sour.