ADDISON-Deciding whether or not to get off the boat and head for shore when weather conditions worsen is a choice that should not be taken lightly. I realize that for many anglers the decision to pull up anchor and stop fishing, especially when the fish are biting, is not something that is easily determined.
Just like many of you, I have had several occasions out on the water when the fishing was too good to be true only to have it spoiled by darkening clouds and increasing winds on Lake Champlain. In some cases I even considered the option of riding out the storm but then I would remind myself that the fish would be there tomorrow. And believe me, they were. I enjoy fishing on the lake just as much if not more than the next guy but the bottom line is when weather forecasts predict stormy weather, you're better off watching my show on television or practicing knot tying in the comforts of your house.
Before heading out on Lake Champlain it is a wise idea to always check the local weather forecasts. Pay special attention to wind direction and strength and also any predictions of thunderstorms. All of these factors will impact your fishing techniques along with travel once on the water. Planning your travel on Lake Champlain with wind conditions will prevent you from having to punch home in rough waters by avoiding high swells. Every angler should keep a NOAA weather radio on the boat so they can monitor weather forecasts throughout the day and never be caught off guard.
Another helpful tool when planning your next outing is a weather map. An accurate weather map can be found in your local newspaper or on television. A weather map is covered in lines called isobars. These isobars link areas of equal air pressure.
By looking at the map, you can determine how air pressure systems are moving. High-pressure systems in the northern hemisphere, marked by the letter H, spin clockwise while low-pressure systems, marked by the letter L, spin counterclockwise.
The closeness of the isobars to each other will reveal the pressure differentials. The closer the isobars, the stronger the wind will be in that area. As a general rule, high-pressure areas typically contain fine to mild conditions whereas low-pressure areas carry most of the rain. A short line pointing in a specific direction reveals wind travel. At the end of the line are a number of 'fingers' that indicate wind strength. Regularly looking at the systems and using a weather map will aide any angler in relating what is shown on the chart to the weather actually experienced.
It pays to be prepared for any weather condition on Lake Champlain. By never underestimating the power of Mother Nature, your time on the water can be a lot more productive and enjoyable.
I have the fullest confidence in my boat to handle a wide variety of weather conditions but whether you go by the saying, "red sky in the morning sailors take warning; red sky at night, sailor's delight," or if you can just feel the weather changes in your bones, everyone should keep and eye to the sky when out the water.