As they say in the West, “It comes with the territory.” If your area has “changeable” weather, you best keep an eagle eye on the weather forecast.
Central Oregon is one of those places. Here the locals joke, we have two seasons: Winter and the 4th of July. Fishing trips often turn into whitecapped, white-knuckle adventures with spitting snow and gale winds, and that’s in the middle of summer!
Predicting the Bite by Ronald W. Reinhold is soothing cocoa for worrywart weather watchers. This 2010 book does a good job of answering the “why” that has always puzzled fishermen.
It occurred to Ron Reinhold, there might be a scientific basis, beyond the usual proverbs and superstitions, to explain the relationship between weather and fishing success. Reinhold’s meticulous research, and easy-to-understand findings help you get a handle on the essentials.
After seven years of fact-finding, and writing, Predicting the Bite was published, and we get to be the beneficiaries. The book jacket lays it out there: A Fisherman’s Handbook of Powerful Prediction Tools.
Most impressive, is the list of peer and expert reviewers who gave the writings the third degree before Ron felt comfortable to publish his book. We are talking doctorates in Genetics, Invertebrate Zoology and Marine Biology, Chemical Engineering and Thermodynamics.
Experts in entomology, marine science, hydrogeology, conservation, and fisheries management pitched in to hone the manuscript. Fishermen and hunters, commercial fishermen and charter skippers, especially those who had kept detailed logs, provided a first-hand comparison between data and results.
So, we are not talking fly-by-night theory here, or wild claims nudging us into infomercial land. What lies within the covers of this book, IS worthy of serious consideration, if you want to get a handle on how weather affects fishing.
Three fishing days really stood out to me as solid confirmation of Reinhold’s findings.
On a multi-day trip to northern California, chips were falling into place for a predicted good afternoon of fishing, which instead was spent helping a friend fix his truck! After the repairs were completed, I hurried over to the lakes to find the surface covered in rise rings, more than I had seen the whole trip. The hatches didn’t last much longer, though, as I had witnessed the tail-end of the action.
Another trip was to Diamond Lake, perched at the top of the Cascades, within spittin’ distance of Crater Lake. After only 90 minutes of fishing, a southwest wind was kicking up whitecaps and serving up miserable fishing conditions on the massive 2800-acre lake. After several hours of futility, wind burn, wild waves, and water spray, we put the boat into the dock, arriving at the same time as a couple of fishermen.
“Fishing was great!” they said. Eh?
They had been across the lake in the far southeast corner, and reported full limits, lots of visible fish, and – get this – calm winds. Every duck in the lake was sunbathing in that corner. It wasn’t until later, we realized Predicting the Bite’s Fishing Winds chapter had pinpointed the location of good fishing that day.
The third example is when a couple of fishing friends were planning a day at East Lake, one of two lakes in a ancient volcano caldera, south of Bend, Oregon. One of the guys, and I, were independently looking at the barometric pressure information. Both of us thought the fishing would be hot. And it was. Best day on East Lake any of our friends had last season. Mayflies hatching all over, flotillas of grey upright wings, with fish gulping greedily.
So on a purely predictive basis, Predicting the Bite has hit the mark.
However, there are problems with following the predictions, that have nothing to do with the book itself. NEXT PAGE