Outdoor Articles

How Does The Weather Impact Fishing?

by Pursue The Outdoors on November 30th, 1999 in General Fishing

The weather can impact your success or failure as an angler to a much greater degree than you may think. I used to just do fishing, with no regard for how the weather might impact my fishing trip, and have since learned how big a mistake that was. We all have less and less time to actually get out fishing in the first place, so paying attention to how the weather might influence our trip is a great idea.

The examination of the weather will give us more insight into the behavior of fish than almost any other single study. Studying weather is also a great idea to help keep you out of situations like the one mentioned earlier. As we all know, being comfortable while fishing is also important and few things play a bigger role in an anglers comfort than the weather. Have you ever had the pleasure of standing in a river when the weather changes and you’re not dressed for it? I know from experience that this is absolutely no fun.

Without getting too crazy about how the weather impacts fishing, let’s discuss those things that are easy to pay attention to. The first are fronts. There are 3 types of fronts: Cold Fronts, Warm fronts, and Stationary fronts. When you watch the weather on the news, fronts are the lines on the weather map. They’re normally red for warm fronts, blue for cold fronts, and a combination of read and blue for stationary fronts.

When a front passes over the river, stream or lake that you intend on fishing, it effects the behavior of the fish. Here’s an example, As a cold front passes, the temperature and humidity fall and air pressure begins to rise. The passing of a cold front is generally thought to have a negative effect on fishing. I’ve heard many people say that fish seem to have lock-jaw immediately following a cold front. And on the other hand, the passing of a warm front often implies that inclement weather is approaching and air pressures may fall (which is important to fishermen). Many people think of warm fronts as fish catching fronts.


Many biologists attribute heavy feeding activity prior to the passage of a front to the fact that the passage of a front very often means winds and storms, which cloud the water and make feeding more difficult. There’s something to keep in mind. The bottom line is that the weather effects the behavior and feeding activity of the fish and can be used to the anglers advantage.

When fronts pass, the barometric pressure changes. When the atmospheric pressure fluctuates, it affects the air bladders in fish. A fishes’ air bladder is what it uses to stabilize itself at different depths of water. When a fishes’ air bladder isn’t feeling right it won’t want to eat. Do you feel like eating when you have an upset stomach? Well fish don’t either, and changes in pressure can give them an ‘upset stomach’.

These are the basic ways that the weather impacts the behavior of fish. You can do more research and get as crazy as you would like about the effect the weather has on fishing, but these basics are all that I need. I increase my odds of catching fish, by paying attention to the weather and fishing accordingly. You can do the same thing, and increase your odds as well.

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