The Question of Wind Direction

Wind direction can have a significant impact on fish feeding patterns. Here I look at how it can vary between species and have a major impact on catching potential.

I have run the carp syndicate at Lyng Lake for many years now and I’m well aware that most of the boys like to follow the wind. Once the wind changes direction, the rods are in, the barrows are out and they’re on the move, often racing to get to the best swims first. Fine, it works for them. But not necessarily for me, particularly after tench and sometimes bream.

East Anglia between April and the end of May, is generally dogged by frequent, brutal north and north-easterly winds. Fishing into the face of these is dire to put it mildly and very rarely productive. I almost always find that I am far better fishing the north bank in these sort of situations, with my back to the prevailing wind.

In fact, at this particular time of the year, I am very reluctant to fish into the face of any wind unless it is coming from the south or south-west. I have no doubt, that for whatever reason, tench in particular do not like a cold wind on the water. It’s an interesting point this. Why should tench and carp, in my experience, be so different?

Carp vs Tench and Bream

Until fish learn English, I’m never going to have any answers. Carp, of course, are more bullish feeders and they travel further in any water and more quickly than tench which are more deliberate. Also, carp feed differently, ploughing up the bottom frequently, rather than sending up those patterns of discreet bubbles. Perhaps it is this difference in their nature that tends to attract tench to calmer, quieter parts of the lake and carp to where there is more action going on. Perhaps the best result of all this is that the carp boys rarely want to fish where I am and I rarely want to be where the carp boys are heading for. It’s always nice to have a quiet, stress-free life.

John Bailey