From dreary cold fronts to extreme heat waves, the weather impacts fishing and various conditions can affect fish behavior. That is why it is important to understand how weather can play a significant role in the outcome of your fishing trip. To help prepare for what Mother Nature has in store on the day of your trip, we’ve put together a list of the most common weather patterns and tips on how to use it to your advantage.
Rising Barometer: Pretty much the worst possible conditions for fishing is when the barometer starts to quickly rise after a major cold front. Why? The rising pressure coincides with fish and will cause them to develop a case of lockjaw. Instead of traveling in tight schools, they’re more apt to be in loose groups, and your normal strategies go out the window. Under these conditions, use smaller baits or fish large lures fast in hopes of triggering reaction strikes.
Falling Barometer: On the flip side, one of the best times to be on the water is when the barometer starts to fall. While the pressure theory is still under debate, many serious anglers swear by it as it seems to trigger bursts of feeding activity.
Cold Weather: This can be one of the toughest fishing conditions Mother Nature can present. In this scenario, seek outside weed lines of 15 to 18 feet as they may hold groups of predator fish such as bass, pike, and walleye. Casting and trolling are also good techniques when the temperature drops.
Gusty Winds: If the conditions are safe, windy conditions actually make for really good fishing. You can thank big waves for this as the rocky conditions move larger fish from nearby deeper water into more shallow areas.
Extreme Heat: Heat waves (not something we have to worry about this time of year) are not always a friend when it comes to fishing. The waters rise, the thermocline shrinks, and the sun is blazing – all of which drive fish into deeper water and shaded areas. Under these conditions, consider fishing at night. If that is not an option, go super early and take advantage of wind, waves, and cloud cover.
Calm and Sunny: You may think this is the most ideal weather for fishing, but think again. When the water is bright and glassy, it can disrupt feeding and lure fish into deeper water. Fish, such as bass, will slide under docks or other shady objects as the shade offers camouflage, cooler conditions, and protection from the sun.
Cloudy and Overcast: Cloudy skies reduce light penetration leading predators to go on the prowl, especially in shallow water. As a general guideline, ideal lighting at noon on a cloudy day is just as good as light levels experienced early and late in the day in clear weather. Under these conditions, large baits tend to work best particularly in shallow feeding flats.
Light Rain: Don’t let a little rain scare you off the water. It’s actually a great time to go fishing as reduced light conditions trigger feeding behavior with a large majority of fish.
Heavy Rain: As long as the conditions are safe, a good down pour can yield some amazing fishing – both inshore and offshore. Aggressive fish will roam shallower water or ride higher in the water column than they would under perfect weather conditions. When the rain stops, fish will follow rising water into a newly flooded habitat. Seek out clear conditions, and pay attention to water temperature (certain fish such as pike prefer cooler temps while bass prefer warm).
Stable Weather: A long stretch of stable weather fairs well for a good day of fishing. This allows fish to find their “comfort zone” – a balance of preferred water temperature, oxygen level, and other factors. “This fuels a nice steady bite, which is something we all like to see,” according to Roger Hugill, Natural Resources fishing manager.
No matter the conditions, inshore and offshore chartered fishing trips in Venice, LA are always a blast! We do most of the work for you so you’re sure to hit a home run and get that trophy you’re after. For more information or to check availability, please give us a call at (504) 909-TUNA.