How Barometric Pressure Can Affect Fishing Conditions
The image above was taken about a year ago while I was fulfilling a bucket list dream: fishing for Halibut in Alaska. Breath-taking scenery, incredible wildlife, deafening silence at night, and monstrous fish right outside of Glacier Bay. The very first day on the water, the weather was not great. Cloudy and damp with occasional rain, but the four of us caught our limit on salmon before approaching our scheduled time to start with the Halibut fishing.
While on the run from fishing hole to fishing hole (one at a depth of 150 feet, to the next at 350 feet), our captain caught me looking at the My Acurite app on my phone. He thought I was not excited about the trip because he was under the impression I was bored. I showed him that I was looking at the internal temperature of the chest freezer in my garage to ensure all these huge salmon we just caught would stay fresh! After catching my first monster Halibut, I checked again while waiting on the rest of the team trying to catch theirs.
The captain and I continued to talk about weather while we waited. I have heard a bunch of fishing tales about weather affecting fishing, so I asked what his thoughts were on barometric pressure, and he had a very interesting take. He told me that when it is a really nice sunny day with higher pressure, the fish will not bite because that higher pressure nauseates them. So, on what would seem a horrible day to fish, rainy and cold, the fish are quite hungry, especially after a high pressure system moves out.
After researching the myths and studies all over the world-wide web, here is what the vast majority has come to conclusion on when it comes to barometric pressure and fishing…
- High Pressure (30.50 +/Clear Skies) - Fish bite Medium to Slow in deeper water or near cover while fishing slowly.
- Medium Pressure (29.70 – 30.40/Fair Weather) - Normal Fishing using different gear or baits to meet the needs of the fish.
- Low Pressure (29.60 and under/Cloudy/Rainy Weather) - Fishing Slows. Go at them slow in deeper water or near cover.
- Rising Pressure/Improving Weather – The fish are slightly active. Go at them slow in deeper water or near cover.
- Stable Pressure/Fair Weather - Normal Fishing. This is the perfect to try different gear or baits.
- Falling Pressure/Degrading Weather - Best Fishing. The fish are likely to take anything they can get!!
I hope this proves useful in the hunt for that monster bass, King Salmon, or my forever elusive Wisconsin Northern. Keep this nugget of information in your tackle box, and share some pictures of how your time on the pond turned out!
Remember, it isn’t the size of the fish, but the size of its tale!! Happy Fishing!!! – Jeff