The Changes in the weather and what it means to the everyday angler

Clear skies and clear water make it harder to fish, but the white water are produced a number of bream and trevally
Gary Brown
I have known my wife Leanne for well over 34 years and she has always had a thing for watching the weather on television. I think it has become an obsession as she goes about planning things out about a week or two, even a month ahead due to the long range weather forecasts.

The frustrating thing for me is that she would watch one lot of weather forecasting on one station at 6pm and turn to another station and watch their forecast at 6.30pm only to find that when the first station stated it was going to be fine and the second station stated that it was going to rain, so then she would look for another report to hopefully get one that is favourable.

As you can see the seas were huge at Newcastle, but it didn't stop this angler pulling in a few luderick in the wash beside the pump house. I would have had a life jacket on
Gary Brown


Okay I do admit that I keep my eye on the weather when I go fishing, but it is usually a day or so before and if the wind did come up or it rained I would have plan B in place.

Monitoring the weather

There are many different things that you, the angler can use to monitor the weather. Barometers, temperatures gauges, web sites, satellite and weather radar images.

I have a combination barometer, temperature and humidity gauge on the wall in my study that I look at each day of the week. By setting the second arm on the barometer the fall or rise in the barometer will let me know if there is a change on the way.

You can use the weather radar to depict rainfall location, movement and its intensity. Characteristics to watch for on these radars are rain bands, Cumulus cloud rainfall, heavy rain from thunderstorms and tropical cyclones.

The Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology www.bom.gov.au has a great web site that will keep you up to date every second of the day on what the weather is doing and I have been using this site for many years now to help me plan when I am going to go for a fish. Other weather sites that I use are Seabreeze www.seabreeze.com.au and Willy Weather www.willyweather.com.au

A number of anglers pulling in luderick off Shortland Esplanade, just south of Nobbies Headland during a southerl storm
Gary Brown


How can you build your weather skills?

Due to the fact that the weather does play an important part on the times and places that we fish, you will need to build up your skills on how to determine what the changing conditions in the weather will do and how it affects you. You may choose to just watch the nightly weather forecast on the television, or read the daily newspaper, surf the net for weather forecast, watch the rise and fall of a barometer and temperature gauges or just plain look out the window. Whatever you decide to do you will need to make sure that your skills on piecing all these facts together will enhance your fishing chances.

Alissa likes fishing on sunny days, especially when she pulls in dusky flathead like this one
Gary Brown


If you are going to fish in your local area you will need to get to know your local climate and how the changes in the weather will affect it. For example, know from what direction the prevailing winds come during the summer, winter, autumn and the spring months. This will help you to determine where you will concentrate your fishing efforts.

In my local part of Sydney in Botany Bay, the summer weather patterns will usually have the winds blowing from a northerly aspect in the afternoon. So if you were to launch your boat on the southern side of the bay at Sylvania you will need to decide whether you are going out early in the morning so that you can fish most places in the bay during the first part of the morning and then when the breeze comes up from the north you switch over to the northern side of the bay and fish at places like Yarra Bay, the western side of the runway, Henry’s Head and Bare Island in the afternoon.

When the barometer is high and the sun is high in the sky try fishing in deeper water for flathead
Gary Brown


Bu if you haven’t read the conditions correctly and a southerly changes does come up and you are on the northern side you will have to bash your way back to Sylvania in the southerly, and at times this can be quite dangerous.

During the later part of the winter months in Sydney you will usually experience the winds from the west. Prolong days of westerly winds will flatten out the seas allowing you to fish in close to the rocks from a boat for yellowfin bream, mulloway, yellowtail kingfish and luderick from a boat or off the shore. The only thing that you have to keep an eye on is that when the winds do drop the swell that has been pushed out to sea will come back towards the land and create big ground swells making it not safe to fish these areas.

As I sit here putting this article together Sydney has just gone through a minnie hurricane, torrential rain and thunderstorms and believe it or not the weather forecasters got it correct.
Due to the winds from the south the seas are up to around five to six metres and the tides are peaking at night to around two meters causing localized flooding in many parts of the Shire. This stretch of terrible weather is also causing the rivers and bays to run a chocolate brown in colour with many a floating obstacle waiting for any un expecting boat to run over it.

Try trolling on an overcast day
Gary Brown


But what a group of us should have been doing is fishing on the south coast at St Georges Basin for the weekend. The reason we didn’t go was that the people we were going to stay with called it off due to the weather forecast that we got in Sydney. For those of you that don’t know St Georges Basin is two and a half hours away and it was sun shine all weekend.

The impending storm will sometimes turn the fish on the bite
Gary Brown


Oh well, what do they say? There is always next time. And on another note I did get a report come in that a couple of anglers did pull in a couple of mulloway off a couple of bridge pylons while fishing in the rain and in Newcastle there were a number of anglers pulling in luderick off Shortland Esplanade, just south of Nobbies Headland.

I wouldn't be without my barometer
Gary Brown
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