Weather or not?

Bill Dance: B.A.S.S. Member since 1968

In an age where anybody with a good job is hanging on to it tighter than neoprene waders on a fat fly-fisherman, I just have to wonder:

"What's the deal with weathermen?"

Talk about job security? It seems they can afford to be wrong at least 50 percent of the time.

To say it frustrates me is an understatement.

Now, understand, I'm not talking about a meteorologist in Death Valley, where the weather is always the same and very predictable: "Today, it will be sunny, hot and very dry.... Now, let's look at the five-day, where I expect more of the same."

No, I am talking about meteorologists that work in areas that have weather with seasonal variables. I mean regions where people can expect change and really need to know the forecast will carry a degree of accuracy.

It seems these days, they are missing the forecast a lot — a whole lot.

Have they inhaled too much greenhouse gas? What's the deal? You would think with all their bragging on technology, that a higher degree of accuracy would be available. But this doesn't seem to be the case.

OK. OK. OK. I have vented and will now step down from Mt. Rant.

But I am still mad, especially after a day spent fishing in a high wind, when my local weatherman didn't even report the wind probability. (I'm also a bit dizzy and seasick, too. But I will get over it. Send me a get-well card, if you get a chance.)

Come to think of it, I may be better off these days following the famed old fisherman's poem:

Wind from the West, fish bite the best.
Wind from the East, fish bite the least.
Wind from the North, do not go forth.
Wind from the South blows bait in their mouth.

Of course, there is some science that backs this up. Most notable is the fact that west and south winds often occur before a weather front, when fish bite best. East and north winds often happen after fronts, when barometric pressure, felt in a fish's swim bladder, will give bass and other species a case of lockjaw.

And, too, I've got to admit, that I am so addicted to fishing that I also follow the saying, "There's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong choice in clothes." I've fished in the worst of all extremes. But that's for "fun." When filming, you want some degree of accuracy. Time and money are riding on it. Even the basic choice of whether to go or not is paramount. So a missed forecast becomes even more frustrating.

Our video crew is not alone, of course. Many people have occupations where knowing what the weather is going to do is a deal maker — or breaker.

Ah, but what do you do? I guess only the late comedian George Carlin ever got weather forecasting entirely right. Carlin said, "Weather forecast for tonight: dark. Continued dark overnight with widely scattered light by morning."

So until next time, catch one for me, and ride the storm out. (That is if there's really going to be one.)

For more words of wit and wisdom from one of our sport's greatest legends, check out www.billdanceoutdoors.com.

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