The Weather Forecast, or to be more precise, The Wind Strength and wind direction plays the major role in deciding if we are able to go fishing or not. This along with tide state and size of tide that day are added considerations.
One thing to always bear in mind. The forecast is just that. A Forecast. It is a prediction that does not always come true, either for good or bad. It is not at all unusual to have a poor forecast only for it to turn out to be a fine sunny day with little wind to speak of. I have to go with the forecast though.
We use several forecasts from different organisations to build a picture of what is to be expected. The later the forecast the more accurate (Usually).
Typically I will look at.
Ventusky (This is my favourite)
There are a few others as well, including of course the Met Office.
It is usually windier out at sea than on land in any wind direction and the general wind strength limit for charter boat fishing is approaching Beaufort F5 or around 18mph. And then only if it is wind with tide and you are sitting nicely at anchor. Wind against tide will make it substantially rougher.
I would cancel if there is a sniff of a F5 as the wave height will be about 1m high and this relates to the Met Office sea state of “Slight to Moderate” In the shipping forecast. I am not a ship!
A F5 is no problem for the boat at all, but it does get to the point where it is almost impossible to fish with a rod and line.
On our coast, a F5 Northerly breeze will make it flat calm on the beach but too rough more than 2-3 miles off.
Getting the Weather Wrong
There are occasions when I call it wrong and cancel the trip when we could have gone.
Sometimes it’s an easy call. Quite often though it is not, and you go with the information you have available and experience gained to make a decision as well as talking to other skippers.
My only apology is that I am human and make mistakes. I really do appreciate that you might have taken time off work to go fishing, or have looked forward to your trip for months only to have the skipper cancel. — Also, it is not in my interests to cancel.
I am a cautious person by nature and especially so where the safety of others rely on my decisions.
How the Weather Affects Fishing
To read an article by Sean Ward on the possible affects of Barometric Pressure can have on fishing, please continue reading.