Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Stalking the weather forecast

You know as well as I do that weather forecasts a week or so ahead are a stab in the dark at best, but do you still find yourself almost stalking them with the intensity of a lion stalking an impala? You keep telling yourself that a week ahead is impossible to predict, hell it seems that a day ahead is too much for all those supercomputers and synoptic chart boffins at times, yet we still do it.

I tend to keep an eye on XCWeather, and I remain convinced that most of the free online weather forecasting services are getting their data from the same sources and that all they really do is to display it in different ways. I happen to think that XCWeather is pretty easy to understand, and yes, I keep telling myself to ignore anything more than a couple of days out.

But we are anglers are we not? We are the ultimate optimists, we love to make plans, and we love to try and put a bunch of factors into a melting pot and come out with a solution that ends up with a load of fish on the end of our lines. So it's Easter weekend coming up and for some it's a chance to get out and do a bit. There is a spot I really want to start getting to grips with around here, but I am convinced that it needs some proper fizz on it to get things going. I have this feeling that at sometime this year this place is going to produce some big bass, and I want to be there when it fires.

So a few days ago I am looking at XCWeather and I notice things starting to pick up nicely Sunday evening and into Monday - exactly what I am after, except you and I know this long range weather forecasting is a pile of poo at best. I can't help it though. I'm already starting to plan, to think, to imagine how conditions might be with the forecasted winds etc. I keep telling myself to give it up, but if it was that easy to control our excitement levels then we would be doing something else like bowls. And of course the forecast for Sunday into Monday changes day by day and all those best laid plans most likely fly out of the window just like that lure that never catches.

We want to make plans but to be successful we must remain as flexible as possible, and of course this is easier for some. I love these trips away that I do, but if you stop and think about them they are a little unrealistic in that you have no choice but to hope and hope and hope that on those dates you have chosen to go away that the conditions at least play a bit of ball for you. But here I live very close to the sea and I can for the most part remain pretty flexible - yet that initial long range forecast still tickles at my head.

Might it be right? Could it kick up on Sunday night and into Monday along the lines of the forecast from a few days ago? As we get closer and closer to the tide that I like the look if, might the weather forecast revert back to that best guess about a week out that I started to get so excited about? Stalking the weather forecast is at best an exercise that does little more than mess with your head though. I keep telling myself this but I still do it. The local BBC forecast is still teasing me with potentially decent bass fishing conditions on Monday.........

I am off to Ireland next Thursday and yes, I will be stalking the weather forecast - whilst accepting completely that I can do no more than take what we get when we are out there. Have a good Easter and may the fish crawl up your lines whatever the weather decides to do!!