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Air Pressure and Fishing


By jstookey - Posted on 09 June 2011

I have been wondering about the correlation between barometric pressure and good fishing days. It started when a friend had a migraine headache, and said that the barometric pressure has an affect on migraines. Right around the same time that they had a (possibly) pressure-induced headache, I had an unexpectedly poor day of fishing. It wouldn't be a huge surprise if air pressure would have a big effect on the comfort level of fish in the water like it does for people who suffer migraine headaches. Today I decided to take a look at the barometric pressure on a day that I remember as the best fishing day of last year. We fished for a short while in the morning and caught lots of lake fish of every type we could hope for (pickerel, crappie, perch, bass, sunfish). The theory is that the fish would be biting during the middle of a long period of barometric pressure stability. The following chart shows the pressure for the month of September, 2010 with the 9th (our good fishing day) highlighted in yellow:

That morning was in the very center of 2 days of pressure stability. The rest of the month looks like a roller coaster. This seems to support the existence of a correlation between pressure and good fishing, although there are a lot of different variables that could effect fishing. In particular:

- Cloud cover
- Time of day
- Time of year
- Moon phase
- Temperature stability
- Barometric pressure stability
- Thermocline

There was another day of amazing fishing this winter (January 2, 2011). The pressure history shows that this day also occurred during a period of relatively stable pressure:

Next up I have a noticeably bad day of fishing (April 12, 2011). I did all the right things. I got out really early on an overcast day, and fished several different spots where I have had success in the past. And yet, I caught nothing:

The pressure on that day shows not only a dramatic change, but also a trend reversal from downward to upward. The theory is still holding up.

Ok, one more. This was a very similar fishing day as the previous bad day, except that I caught a bunch of nice fish. 9/24/2010:

Hmm... It looks like pressure was definitely not stable on this day and yet the fish were still biting. This does not support my claim.

The following website suggests exactly how air pressure affects fishing:

http://www.quickoneplus.com/fish/articles/page.asp?page=barometric

From what I can read into the page, it seems as though the fish don't like to feed during high or increasing pressure. They go nuts in the shallows (where I am usually fishing) when it is falling, normal and stable, or low.

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