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Offline JV

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Understanding surf and wind
« on: July 06, 2012, 02:21:37 PM »
Here is our Spotlight Article for July 2012

Understanding surf and wind

You don't have to be a weather expert to have a good understanding of how wind can affect waves and sea angling but a little knowledge will help you plan your trip safely and also help you catch more fish. Checking your local surf (wave) report is essential to having a good days fishing. There are many factors that contribute to the conditions of the surf, and being able to understand a surf report can help you decide whether to take that trip. The ability to effectively read a surf report lies in your understanding of a few key elements: tides, wind conditions, wave height and direction of the swell. Keep in mind that conditions are constantly changing, so check your surf report each time before you plan to go fishing.

A North Easterly wind wips up the waves and swell at Tynemouth, England.



Below each forum page you'll find a detailed surf report from around the UK, more to be added soon.  You have wind direction and speed in mph, swell direction and height along with a general weather forecast.  Here's a little info I've put together to help you understand. It helps if you understand your location and which way is east, west, north and south to.

Direction of the Swell

The direction of the swell refers to which way the waves are coming from. If you live on the east coast of the UK and the surf report says there is an east swell coming, waves are coming from the east, straight onto your beach. Whether a swell's direction is beneficial to your local fishing spot depends on many factors which may vary from beach to beach. Experience and talking to knowledgeable locals is the best way to determine which swell is best for your fishing mark.

Tides
As with the direction of the swell, whether low or high tide is a good time to fish depends on where you are. Many angling marks are known to fish best at low tide or high tide, and experienced locals can tell you what time is best, so talk to them. Local knowledge is a key attribute to catching fish. One thing to keep in mind however is that low tide may reveal dangers to an angler, such as sand bars, rocks and areas where you may become trapped by the incoming tide. Be aware of your surroundings when you fish.

Wave Height
This is often the number one concern to sea anglers. There are different ways that wave height is relayed in a surf report; feet and meters are the general measurements.  Depending upon which type of fish your after or the location that your fishing the size of the surf should be a crucial element in your planning.  Waves that are big are dangerous and can easily sweep you out to sea and an unfortunate death.  On many beaches in winter wait until after an onshore swell has subsided and fish then into a swell that's fishable, it's no good if your end gear is swept back in time and again. 
Waves and swells can be formed many miles out to sea by huge storms that may be hundreds of miles away from your beach but like ripples in a pond but only on a larger scale, these waves eventually crash on to shore.  This is what's called a long range swell and these waves can arrive at your beach when weather and wind seem totally wrong for it.

Wind
Wind is essential to waves. Wind creates waves, determines their shape and delivers them to the beach. Onshore winds are known to produce the best conditions for winter cod. However offshore winds can be good to especially during summer when fishing is often best from the shore during flat sea conditions.  Moderate to strong winds that are blowing offshore, west to east if you live on the UK east coast will create large waves a few miles out to sea, making boat fishing very dangerous.  A factor that is essential to remember when planning that boat trip.

The Beaufort Scale 

Easy to understand and a must when planning any trip!



Any weather and surf related questions just ask here and I'm certain someone will have an answer for you.  cool
"For we are the Vikings tamers of the deep" Check out my blog http://viking-valhalla.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline JV

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Re: Understanding surf and wind
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2012, 02:31:27 PM »
A force 12 at sea, hurricane......

"For we are the Vikings tamers of the deep" Check out my blog http://viking-valhalla.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline BrianJ

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Re: Understanding surf and wind
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2012, 08:51:30 AM »
Great info there Dave. Its a shame you can't control the weather.  :cry:
I will only be out for a couple of hours pet.

Online Nicky

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Re: Understanding surf and wind
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2012, 09:01:53 AM »
Great read Dave mate.This is a part of fishing that needs to be understood a little to get the best out of the fishing and i must admit I'm still learning every year on how the winds and swells affect my local fishing marks but in all fishing you never stop learning  cool
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Offline Pete from Shields

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Re: Understanding surf and wind
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2012, 08:26:40 PM »
This is a brilliant post and a must for a beginner to read.

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Re: Understanding surf and wind
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2012, 11:20:10 AM »
some great info there cool.Think tis is a very important part of fishing,a good understanding of the conditions and how they are caused can only improve catch rates,being able to read synoptic charts can also give a good idea of possible conditions,but you cant really go wrong with a wave forecasting site

Offline ELTEL

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Re: Understanding surf and wind
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2014, 08:50:55 PM »
learnt some thing off you once again JV

Offline DALE19

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Re: Understanding surf and wind
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2014, 07:08:03 AM »
very good info  JV
nowt again as usual ,just giving worms swimming lessons officer

Offline billfish

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Re: Understanding surf and wind
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2014, 12:59:14 PM »
bang on davey m8 great read.
bill

Offline JV

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Re: Understanding surf and wind
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2014, 01:02:31 PM »
Cheers lads makes all the hard work worth it
"For we are the Vikings tamers of the deep" Check out my blog http://viking-valhalla.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline beaky

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Re: Understanding surf and wind
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2015, 05:19:25 PM »
I find that the best way to predict surf is to look at the pressure charts, such as those on the BBC weather forecast website. The winds circulate clockwise around a low pressure, parallel to the isobar lines, and anticlockwise around a high pressure, again parallel to the isobar lines. The closer together the isobar lines, the faster the wind.

This way, you can see what the wind direction and strength will be way out to sea. Given that waves develop in the direction of the wind and increase in size if that wind direction is continuous for a long fetch, you can usually predict swells for quite some time ahead.
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