How Changes in Barometric Pressure Affect Fishing

November 14, 2012

barometer-fishingYou have probably heard at least one story from a fellow angler who went out fishing just before a storm blew through and had a monumental day. Does this mean that changes in barometric pressure affect fishing? From my perspective, absolutely. So, let’s dig deeper to understand exactly what it is about fishing just before a front, when the barometric pressure is in a state of flux, that offers a distinct advantage when it comes to catch rates.

Based on my personal experience, in addition to some research, I’ve found that it’s a good idea to check the barometric pressure before fishing and consider the following:

  • Avoid fishing when barometric pressure has peaked. When barometric pressure is high and steady, fish will often react by becoming slow and lethargic.
  • Fishing will usually be best during times of dropping, low or slowly rising pressure.
  • The effects of barometric pressure will be greater when fishing shallow water versus deeper areas.

If you fish often, think about buying a small barometer for your home to monitor pressure changes before a fishing trip. A barometer dial will express pressure changes in inches of mercury (inch Hg) and millibars (mb), with standard air pressure at sea level being 29.92 inches of mercury.

To sum up, the period of lower temperatures and clearer skies following a low-pressure system will generally be associated with poor fishing. On the contrary, the fishing just before a storm is known as being good due to dropping pressure.