Thursday, April 11, 2013

All About Conditions

The schoolie fishing just lit up along the oceanfront on Wednesday.  Yet, if you go down there today or tomorrow, my guess is that you will be lucky to find a fish.  Conditions are just wrong.
At this time of year and for the next couple of weeks, it will be all about the conditions.  If they are right, the fishing will be hot.  Most fishermen make the mistake of simply going fishing without any thought as to what is going on with the weather.  Wind, temperature and sunny weather are all movers in the early going of spring striper fishing.  Unlike the fall, you see no evidence of fish at this time.  There is no bait that's visible, no diving birds and no fish breaking.  Migrating schoolies show up in big numbers because of atmospheric conditions that drive them ashore.
So, what's the key?  Winds from the south and west quadrants are prime movers.  Especially when combined with a sunny day, these winds blow warm water up the coastline and early season stripers are concentrated in the warmer water. Additionally, warm weather goes along with these winds, an additional mover. It can get crazy after these conditions exist for several days like it did this week. Combine all of that with a moon tide and you have a good shot at finding fish along the oceanfront in April.  Get a cold day in April (like what's coming tomorrow) with north or east winds that blow the warm water away from the shore, and you have little chance of finding any fish.
The right conditions brought hundreds of schoolies to the dozen or so guys that were fishing around me on Wednesday.  Had the wind been from the north and a cold day, there would have been nothing.