Air Pressure and Fishing

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.

Kayaked Hoosick River

Trip Report

I kayaked for a few hours at the Hoosick River starting at the boat launch area just above the dam in Valley Falls. Here is the route I followed:

I wasn't fishing much, but I caught a 10" small mouth bass close to shore. I saw several big carp in the water. For the most part, the water was still. In fact if I stood still, the wind blew me upstream. A few later sections had some mild rapids. One section was work to paddle against the current. The trip was not terribly exciting. It would have been better fishing in the canoe, because fishing in my little kayak is awkward. Here is a look down what I called "rapids":

Links

* Hoosick River Paddling Map - Click on the small map and you will get a huge version of the map.
* Hoosick River Kayakers - Maniacs elsewhere on the Hoosick

My First Kayak Trip

I took a trip to the public boat launch on the north end of Ballston Lake to try out the new kayak, and to see if the lake has thawed yet. It hasn't, which is surprising. Last year it was already thawed as of some time between March 17 and March 21.

I paddled a short way up the marshy Ballston Creek. A beaver and I scared the pants off of each other. There was only a narrow corridor in which to paddle, and we were both cornered. I screamed. Twice, actually. Once because of my initial startlement, and a second time after I realized that I was sitting so low in the water that the angry beaver could easily GET ME if he chose to.

Anyway, I was still cornered and was going to have to paddle directly over the angry beaver. After that I was happy to hurry back to the car.

Hiked Hough and Dix Mtns

We hiked Hough and Dix mountain this weekend. It was very wet, windy, and cold. Here we are getting blasted with wind and rain at our final destination, Hough Peak:

Click here for a full trip report.

Ice Fishing Ballston Lake

We put in a lot of hours, and managed to catch a perch, bass, and several 10" crappie. Oh, and also the usual mini-sunfish.

This was a mediocre day of fishing during a period of somewhat flat, but unstable air pressure:

Big Bass on the Ice

We caught some crappie, perch, sunfish, and nice largemouth bass just under 19 inches at Ballston Lake:

Ice Fishing Shaver Pond

Today I went ice fishing before work at Shaver Pond in Grafton Lakes State Park for the first time. It is one of the few places where you can keep trout all-year round if you can catch one. I didn't catch anything. It made for a rough day:

Terrible fishing during a period of steeply dropping air pressure (although I have never had very good success on this lake, so it's possible that I'm just fishing wrong):

Ice Fishing Round Lake

I happened to wake up early this morning, so I drove up to Round Lake for some ice fishing before work. I haven't had much success fishing Round Lake, but it has always been a great place to watch the sun rising:

This was a poor day of fishing during a period of increasing pressure:

Baby Carrot Quality Control

Man, they just don't make baby carrots like they used to. Check out this recent batch:

What is happening at our carrot factories?

Green Mountain Marathon

I ran the Green Mountain Marathon in South Hero, Vermont this weekend. My left knee was really sore and prevented me from training for a few weeks before the marathon. It was sore before I started running this morning. However, after 5 miles or so it felt better. It felt better as my other knee and hips and things started feeling sore. I made it to the halfway mark without too much of a problem, although I was getting sore and tired. I think that is when my lack of training over the last couple of weeks took effect. The second half was all pretty difficult. Up until mile 18 or 20 or so I was sort of keeping up reasonably well, but I was dwindling. After mile 22 it was REALLY tough. I walked a lot. I walked hills, mile markers, rest stops (anywhere that I could justify a break). At around mile 24, I took a rest stop. When I move to get going again, my left knee felt pretty bad, and my system felt like it was failing - my head and particularly my ears felt really hot, and I had a cold sweat. I walked it off, and it passed. I did the marathon shuffle for most of the last mile.

Overall, it was not a great run (from the beginning I did no feel very good, I had no confidence). Also, the only food on the course was 3 gooey packets. 2 of the packets that I took at first had caffeine. I drank a good amount. For the first half I probably drank a little cup of water or gatorade at every station (every 2-3 miles), and after that I grabbed 3 cups half-gatorade (which usually amounted to 1 full 12 ounce cup) at every station. I and took 4 or 5 bathroom breaks.

After the race, it was really hard to walk. My hips feel swollen, but not too bad. My knees are really sore, and it makes it hard to walk. My left foot hurts, just above the arch. I have one toenail that feels pretty bad. My upper body feels fine.

The race itself was really awesome. $25, a beautiful island run, and a nice long-sleeved cotton shirt to boot.

4h:17min, 9.8 minute miles.
258/416 finishers