Weather conditions for fishing make a big difference in success. If you go fishing on what many call a beautiful day, it is a mistake. Fish do not like a lot of sunlight. The fish will go into deep water and dense cover. The temperature is another factor affecting fishing. Plus, the wind can be a helpful addition to the whole picture for success.
Temperature is a factor for fish in terms of survival. They prefer stable temperatures. Water shifting temperature or too hot makes them change their habits. Some species cannot tolerate high water temperatures and will die.
The wind is usually a positive element in fishing. You want some wind under the right conditions regarding temperature and sunlight. It provides effects the fish like and benefit from in their life.
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You need to understand the weather and how it influences fish. In many cases, they want the opposite of most people. You hear about the barometric pressure and moon phases. They have effects also. One of the biggest keys is the amount of sunlight penetrating the water.
Understanding how it affects the fish and where or how to fish is what you need to know. Everything else in fishing is built on this element. It helps you find the fish, what presentation to use, and to what degree you will be successful.
The Sunlight Weather Conditions for Fishing
As mentioned, fish do not like sunlight. They will seek deeper water or shade along shorelines. You need to think like a fish. Where will I find the least sunlight? This is where fish will go during times with a lot of sunlight or the sun is higher in the sky.
Where the sun is in the sky affects also. Sun higher in the sky will penetrate deeper into the water. Sun low in the sky tends to reflect off the water. There are other factors affecting penetration also. The color of water or staining will limit certain colors faster. Water with ripples or waves reduces the light too.
Putting this in perspective a smooth surface with clear water will have deep light penetration. Water with ripples and tint has far less sunlight reaching deep. Add in shade along the shore and little light gets through to the bottom.
The Temperature Weather Conditions for Fishing
The temperature of the water greatly influences fish behaviors. Fish seek stable environmental conditions. Fluctuating temperatures cause stress to fish and possible mortality. When water is cold fish are less active and less likely to feed. Their metabolism slows down. In warmer waters, some fish will thrive and feed heavily, while others need to find cooler water.
|Species||Lower Temperature||Optimum Temperature||High Temperature|
The chart above shows the temperatures fish seek. They will inhabit temperatures out of the range if the need arises. This seldom happens except when the ideal temperature is not present or food is in less desirable temperatures. The latter has the fish move in and feed quickly then return to stable temperature in the preferred range. Waters above the high temperature will see higher fish mortality leading to fewer fish.
Water colder than the best range cause fish to feed less. They will find an area with stable water temperatures. The metabolism slows down reducing activity levels. The fish seldom feed usually waiting for an easy meal that comes close.
Water and air temperature are separate. The air can be hotter or colder than the water. Base your locations and presentations on the water temperatures. That said, the sun and air temperature will change water temperatures in the shallows fast. In a few hours, the water can heat up or cool a few degrees. This is enough to change a fish’s habits
The seasons will have temperature differences. In the winter, the bite will be tough. The spring will have the spawn for many species. Summer is a good time of the year to catch fish. The fish are active except during certain extremes. In the fall the water begins cooling triggering a feeding frenzy for a lot of fish.
A lot of anglers hang up the gear for winter. In some regions, it is worth fishing. Yet in northern areas, it can be difficult or you need to ice fish. This time of year is for the serious angler or living in the south.
Spring is when everything comes alive. All the water species become active and prepare to spawn. Fish feed before and after the spawn. Few fish feed during the spawning period.
Summer is when many people fish. In general, fishing is good most of the time. The hard times come when cold fronts or extended periods of high heat are occurring. These weather conditions will shut down fish in many instances. The fish will usually move to deeper water.
Fall fishing is one of the best periods of the year for fishing. The fish are bigger from feeding all summer. Then the days start to get shorter and the water begins to cool. This has fish begin to feed heavily to prepare for winter. In other words, this time of the year is good for catching a personal best.
People often fail to use the wind as an advantage. The wind creates ripples and waves helping reduce light penetration. The fish move out of the heavier cover and into shallower waters. Wind will push baitfish towards the shore also. The micro-organism is pushed by the wind. As a result, the pry follows with the predators following the prey.
If on the shore have the wind in your face. If on a boat, the wind will be to your back while you face the shore. This is an unknown fact many people do not realize or forget.
People fear changing weather in regards to fishing. You have to look past the visible elements. Rain will not keep the fishing from biting. It is the drop in barometric pressure. The same applies to air temperature changes. The water is a giant heat sink except for the shallow waters. It takes many waterways days to weeks for the temperature to drop from cold air.
In addition to the previously mentioned element of weather. Barometric pressure is the main thing. A sudden change in pressure affects the fish. Fish use pressure to regulate their floating and to stay upright. A pressure change has a negative effect on the fish’s air bladder. The fish will often quit feeding during a fast change in pressure.
Use an app to check the pressure and see if it is dropping fast. If the chart is going down at a greater than 45-degree angle it is a fast change. If it is chances are it will be tougher to catch fish. A slow or subtle change is not a concern. The fish will adapt easily to small changes. This is another element fish like to have to stay stable.
Once you study the pressure, you will know when to avoid fishing due to a weather change. Ignore the rain and other elements showing a change in weather. The fish live in the water and the effect of those elements is not as much.
The Moon Influence
Does the moon influence fishing? It depends on who you speak to about the moon. In the musky circle, it is a big deal. They go by the saying moon overhead and underfoot. They believe it affects the fishing. There is proof of some effect. Research shows you can catch larger fish during a full moon when it is rising or falling. In other areas of fishing, it is less applied to fishing.
The full moon does provide more light on clearer nights. This will have some species move into the shallows to feed. It is similar to low light conditions in the morning and evening. Should you base your fishing on the subject, I say no go fishing regardless of the moon. The effect on the bite is little by the moon in most situations.
Weather conditions for fishing are overlooked by inexperienced anglers. Take time to learn the weather when fish bite. The days with clouds showing dark bottoms block the most sunlight. The water temperature is a bigger factor than the air temperature. Wind will work in your favor if not too high on speed.
Watch the weather with an app and keep track of the weather and how it affects your fishing. You will find certain elements showing a better success rate. The weather that is stable with cloud cover is likely your best time to go fishing.