How Barometric Pressure Can Affect Fishing Conditions

How Barometric Pressure Can Affect Fishing Conditions

This article was originally published in July of 2018 but has been updated to include relevant content.


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.


Jeff's Catch - salmon laying in a line and a giany halibut


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.


What Barometric Pressure is Best for Fishing?

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!!


To monitor the barometric pressure for fishing, I recommend the Fishing Activity Meter and Forecaster, and other hunting and fishing gadgets here.  It is a portable fishing barometer with the display and temperature sensor, both battery-operated, with a wireless range of 165 ft (50m). The display highlights fishing moon phase to help you track the best fishing conditions, and it can help during hunting season too! Stormy weather can also affect how the fish behave so make sure you read up on How Storms Affect Fishing Conditions.

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!


On the Boat, with mountains in the background


Wondering how the ideal fishing conditions change for winter? Learn how AcuRite can help with Successful Ice Fishing next winter. Remember, it isn’t the size of the fish, but the size of its tale!! Happy Fishing!!! – Jeff

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May 31, 2020
October 31, 2019
I’ve experience the exact fish catching opportunities as the Chart shows. I live in Georgia and timing the barometer pressure Is everything when it comes to fishing or catching!
Different Will
April 4, 2020
HI Jeff, Just out of curiosity, what unit are you using to measure pressure?
AcuRite Team
April 6, 2020
When streaming your sensor data online to My AcuRite, the Barometric Pressure reading is provided by the Access device or PC Connect display unit. Many of our other display units also provide a Barometric Pressure reading. For further questions, please reach out to our support team via live chat or email request on the AcuRite Support website.
December 27, 2020
When the barometric pressure is dropping rapidly, I have great success fishing, even during the winter from the shore here in Texas.
April 26, 2021
I believe he is referring to the unit of measurement not the device used to display the number, what scientific measurement unit are you using, bar, hectopascal, ect.
AcuRite Team
April 26, 2021
We are using inches of Mercury (inHg)!
In Wisconsin we don’t like northern pike. We fish for musky!
June 6, 2023
In Wisconsin we throw northern pike back. We are fishing for musky!
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