Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Can mares tails & mackerel scales predict fishing?

Mares tails

Mackerel scales
The old weather saying: "mares tails and mackerel scales make tall ships lower their sails" is an accurate predictor of wind and storms. Does it also predict the fishing?
I think it does. I think it is forecasting great fishing, at least for a short while, and does the same thing for hunting. In fact, it was this latter sport that got me thinking about it. We are having a very blustery day here in Nolalu. Wind gusts are whipping the trees around and sending the snow whirling in "snow-devils" across the fields.
It immediately made me grab my camera and head out to the bush to see if I could catch a deer or moose or wolf unawares. Alas, I didn't have much time for the task and didn't see anything but I have had great success both hunting and photographing on windy days. With the wind swishing through the branches and all the trees cracking and groaning, nothing can hear me approaching. Also, my scent is scattered to smithereens for those keen noses always trying to pinpoint my location.
Fishing is also usually great on windy days, as long as it isn't so windy you lose control of the boat.
Just think of "walleye chop." This is what every walleye fisherman wants, choppy waves. We have always thought that the waves muddy-up the shorelines which lure baitfish that in turn, lure walleye. But the chop also breaks up the light penetrating the lake, sending it dancing in all directions and making it difficult for baitfish to see the predators. Walleye and northern pike, realizing their advantage, go on a killing spree.
Along with wind, the old saying also predicts precipitation, a low-pressure system in weather jargon. It is well-known that fish hit before a storm. We don't know why; maybe it is just because of the wind but once the front passes the fishing quits, often for a couple of days. So, it would seem it was the atmospheric pressure change, not just the wind, that set off the fish and then put them into a lull.
Try it out this summer. See if mares tails and mackerel scales are really atmospheric signs that say: "The fish are hitting!"

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