Blog by: Lloyd Tackitt , Texas 12/30/2014
I suppose there will never be a firm and precise answer on how barometric pressure affects fishing, but why should that stop us from talking about it or trying to zero in on a great fish bite by using it? Even if it doesn't have a flying thing to do with fish biting, it's a great theory so why not? And then there is the possibility that it really does provide a predictable way to improve fishing, and it's a good possibility too. So in that vein...
The standard theory goes something like this: As a weather front moves in the barometer will tend to drop, and as it drops the fish bite increases. When the barometric pressure bottoms out and begins to rise the bite stops for a couple of days. Okay that is an intensely shortened version of the overall theory, but it really is the heart of the theory. Falling barometer improves fishing, rising barometer dis-improves fishing.
One way to take advantage of this trend is to watch the weather forecast and try to time fishing trips with a falling barometer. That is, when you have the luxury of timing your trips. Mostly the way it works is you go fishing when you can and hope for weather that helps during that time. And since we go when we can, not when it should be best, we don't put a lot of attention on the barometric pressure and trying to create a long term set of data points around it.
Face it, it's hard enough to just find out what the barometric pressure is while you are fishing anyway. Barometers, for those few that actually own one, are not generally all that accurate, except for those very few that have purchased a really expensive one. Watch the weather station and they may or may not tell you and if they do you didn't write it down and have no real idea if the trend is a dropping or rising or flat line or...
But, for those who would like to take a look at how the barometer affects your personal fishing, I have discovered a weather web-site that displays the anticipated barometric pressure as a trend line projected out for the next ten days. This thing is awesome. It also shows other interesting weather patterns in the projection. Take a look at this website:
Note that by moving your curser across the chart a vertical line appears that pops out a read-out of all the important elements, for instance in this screen I'm looking at for Clifton Texas the barometric pressure is shown as a graph line and at 10am tomorrow the pressure will start dropping and bottom out at 3pm Saturday. During that time you can see an hour by hour projection of wind direction and speed, temperature, cloud cover, and possibility of rain - all in one handy place and in a way that makes the whole picture pretty obvious.
So, theoretically Thursday through Saturday should be a good fish bite, however the weather looks to suck for much of that time. But I'll be off work Thursday and Saturday and I might just give the fishing a try in spite of the weather. Because after that it looks like the pressure will rise and stabilize through the rest of the weekend and even though the weather looks better the pressure line indicates the fishing won't be so good for almost a week.
But then it also shows the wind out of the east on Thursday and that almost always means no fish will bite. Fish don't like an easterly wind, according to my grandmother and she knew more about fishing than anyone on earth so I'll probably lay low Thursday and hit it on Saturday morning when the wind shifts to the west for a few hours before the barometer starts to rise.
Maybe the value of this is just in thinking about fishing when I am not able to actually go, but then maybe I'll catch the hell out of them Saturday morning too. And if I wasn't looking at this I wouldn't actually be giving a Saturday morning trip a thought and would possibly miss a great fish bite.
Check it out, just type in your fishing spot in the top right corner of the screen and see what it says for you.
IceFishingFool, CO 12/30/2014 6:03:26 PM
Glad you found that out Lloyd, now we will have to add "Weather Wizard" to your Title.
Neyet Stalker, CO 12/30/2014 6:38:57 PM
Pre-front+ falling barometer+ major moon phase+ dusk or dawn+ spring or fall. Look for opportunities when all of these coincide for big bite! Thanks for the link!
adrenaline_junkie_ff, CO 12/30/2014 6:54:03 PM
I keep an eye on my gps barometer reading. Great post. Growing up in the Pacific NW, dad always kept an eye on the barometer before we went fishing. Pretty good indicator.
Ajax5240, CO 12/30/2014 11:46:43 PM
I love weather underground. Their app is pretty neat too. The only thing I think fishermen do better than exaggerate, is come up with theories and superstitions. Haha
Attila64, TX 12/31/2014 4:43:57 AM
I am laughing deep inside thinking about how my Uncle Nick used to swear that fishing was always best when pressure was rising. He was known to partake of a few drinks past reason while fishing but was one of my role models when it came to fishing. I took his words as the gospel and stayed true to his beliefs but looking back I can see now where his beer induce and vodka tainted brain had it backwards. Because all the other weather related tricks he taught me work the opposite of what he preached for barometric pressure. Beauty of getting older is finding error in our past thinking but instead of dwelling on it, forgive, laugh and lovingly move along. Thank you for the info and triggering some fond memories of a challenged but important relative.