No matter what type of fishing you do, the environment is going to have a say on how well you do during your next trip.
All sorts of factors will come into play every time you get out on the water. From cloud cover, cold and warm fronts, sunshine, and water temperature—all of that will matter at the end of the day.
One of the more overlooked environmental factors is barometric pressure. Hopefully, you’ve already read how cows can predict your fishing success (if not, why not now?), today we will take a much more in depth look at what barometric pressure can do to the fishing.
Before we really dive into it though, keep in mind that keeping an eye on the barometer will not ensure, or rule out, a great fishing trip. I’ve had great days when all of the environmental factors pointed to a terrible day, and vice versa.
Don’t let a barometer, or anything else for that matter, keep you off the water.
Barometric Pressure And Fishing
So what exactly is barometric pressure?
A barometer measures the weight of the atmosphere above us. The measurement is best taken at sea level, so if you are significantly above or below, a correction factor is used. Obviously, the higher you are, the lighter the atmosphere is.
The effect of this atmospheric pressure on fishing is more readily seen in shallower water. This makes sense if you keep in mind that deeper water will exert a huge amount of pressure on the fish, thus making the air pressure much less significant.
Now that you have a general overview of what barometric pressure is, let’s get down to some brass tacks and look at pressure trends and fish activity.
Fishing In High Barometric Pressure Situations
High pressure tends to result in sunny and clear skies.
Fish will typically look for cover in these situations. To take advantage, fish shallow baits close to cover.
Be warned: If it starts getting really hot, this can often turn the bite completely off.
Fishing In Rising Barometric Pressure Situations
It isn’t a high pressure day, but the trend says it is rising. This will typically result in skies that are starting to clear up, and the sun is starting to get through a lot more.
Typically, fish will be moving in from the deeper water to the shallower water to feed. It is still a good idea to attack cover, and fish in the shallow to medium range.
If you are struggling with this tactic, cover lots of water to find the fish. Plan your retrieves and tactics to move from deeper to shallower water.
Fishing In Normal Barometric Pressure Situations
The fish won’t really be reacting to this type of pressure all that much.
This is a great time to experiment with baits, retrieves, colors, and new patterns. You never know what might garner a strike when things go “normal.”
Fishing In Falling Barometric Pressure Situations
If there is a sweet spot on the barometer for catching a lot of fish, this is it.
When the pressure starts to fall, the weather will start getting a little dodgy. This seems to signal the fish to feed like crazy, and you can have an absolutely killer day.
Figure out what the fish are feeding on, match it, and go to town.
Fishing In Low Barometric Pressure Situations
This is where things get really tough.
Often times, fish will really shut off in this situation. They typically move deeper, and you will have to really buckle down to get them to bite. Fish deep structure with things like jigs and swim jigs.
Make A Barometer Journal
Writing down different environmental factors while you are fishing can be very helpful. You will start to pick out patterns when things seem to be random.
Next time you go fishing, write down the air temperature, the barometric pressure, the water temperature, what baits you used, etc.
Keeping track of everything you experience on the water will make you a better fisherman, and give you more tools to use in the future.
See ya on the water…
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