10 Top Fishing Weather Conditions

Jul 24, 2013; 2:08 PM ET

Weather conditions of all types affect fish behavior. From dreaded cold fronts and soaring barometric pressure to a walleye chop, light rain, or leaden skies, Mother Nature plays a hand in our favorite pursuit.

Thankfully, if you don't like the fishing weather conditions you've been dealt for the day, you typically don't have to wait long until everything changes.

To help you plan your fishing trips and tactics according to the forecast, we put together 10 of the most common weather patterns, along with tips and notes on what to expect-and how to deal with the conditions at hand.


Calm and Sunny

For walleyes, especially in the Summer Peak, bright and glassy conditions can disrupt the shallow weed bite in clear lakes, ushering large fish into deeper water. However, smaller, eater-sized 'eyes can still be caught along shallower weedlines. Deep bass remain active, but their shallow counterparts slide under docks or other shady objects such as downed trees. The shade offers camouflage, cool conditions and protection from the sun's UV rays. Photo: Fish were hiding in the shade on the Fox River.


Rising Barometer

Ouch! A skyrocketing barometer following a major cold front is often associated with the worst possible fishing conditions. While debate swirls about whether barometric pressure is actually the culprit, there's little argument that rising pressure often coincides with a lake's fish developing a serious case of lockjaw. Fish often sulk tight to bottom or cover, in loose groups rather than schools, and turn up their noses at presentations that worked so well a day or two earlier. Compensating tactics range from finessing small baits to fishing large lures fast, in hopes of triggering reaction strikes. Photo: Front went through during the night on Bays de Noc, headed east on the horizon.


Falling Barometer

If you could choose one time to be on the water, this would be it. While the pressure debate extends to whether a falling barometer affects fish behavior-or simply coincides with other conditions that do-many diehard anglers swear by it. In fact, In-Fisherman friend Bob Samson, a science teacher, multispecies fan, and devoted student of the barometer's affect on fish behavior, swears that even slight dips in pressure throughout the day can trigger bursts of feeding activity. Major increases coinciding with the approach of a large storm can coincide with sheer suicide bites. In 2012, In-Fisherman art director Jim Pfaff and guide Billy Rosner experienced such action on Minnesota's Lake Vermilion, when muskies and trophy pike went on a rampage prior to the arrival of a mega-storm that dumped up to nine inches of rain on the nearby city of Duluth, causing major flooding.

by Dan Johnson

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