What factors influence fishing?

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It’s a beautiful day and you’ve finally got some time to go fishing. You park your truck, get your gear together, and head down to the water. The sun is shining and the birds are singing – it’s perfect. After dropping your line in the water, you notice that the fish aren’t biting as well today as they have been in the past. What could be causing this? Frankly, there are a variety of factors that influence fishing success. Keep reading to find out what they are!

fishing factors


The time of year can have a big impact on how successful you are when fishing. For example, in the spring the fish are moving upstream to spawn, so they’re more likely to be caught. In the summer, the fish move to deeper waters to avoid the heat, so they’re harder to catch. In the fall, the fish start moving back downstream towards the ocean, so they’re easier to catch again. And in the winter, most fish go into hibernation and become less active and more challenging to catch. So depending on what time of year you go fishing, you’ll have a different level of success.

Weather conditions

Weather conditions are also important to consider. For example, if it’s windy out, the fish may be harder to locate through the moving water. However, they will tend to be more active and ready to bite. If it’s raining or cloudy, the fish will again be harder to locate. However, visibility works both ways. Fish will have a harder time distinguishing your bait from natural food which can increase the chances of a bite. And if it’s hot, the fish will be moving to deeper waters to escape the heat, so you’ll have to go after them further down. For the best chance of success, pay close attention to weather conditions before devising your strategy for locating and catching your target fish.

How deep you are fishing

The depth that you are fishing is a factor you can control when fishing. If you’re fishing in a shallow creek, the fish will be easier to locate and catch because they’re closer to the surface. Deep waters provide more places for fish to hide and present challenges for anglers when seeking them out. So if you’re not getting bites when your line is in the center of a lake, try coming a bit closer to shore.


Location can also have a big impact on how successful you are when fishing. For example, if you’re fishing in a creek that’s surrounded by trees, the fish will be harder to see because of the shade. But if you’re fishing in an open area like a lake, the fish will be easier to see. The visibility of your target fish will go a long way toward the amount of success you have on your fishing trip.

Water temperature

Water temperature is also a key factor when fishing. If the water is too cold, the fish will be less active and harder to catch. But if the water is too hot, the fish will be moving to deeper waters to escape the heat, so you’ll have to go after them further down. As a best practice, familiarize yourself with the preferred temperatures of your target fish and pack a water thermometer before setting out on your trip. This will allow you to pinpoint a great spot to drop your line.

Tide and current

Tide and current can impact fishing in a few ways. Fish move with tide. So if the water is coming in, expect to find more fish close to shore. When the tide is going out, try going into deeper waters. If the current is strong, it will be harder for you to keep your bait in one spot, so you’ll have to use a heavier weight. And if the current is weak, the fish will be able to swim away from your bait more easily, so you’ll have to use a lighter weight. Take note of the tide and current at your fishing location and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Barometric pressure

Barometric pressure directly impacts the activity of the fish in the water. When barometric pressure is high, the fish will be less active and less likely to bite. When barometric pressure drops, fish become more active, more likely to be seeking food and easier to catch. Be cognizant of barometric pressure and how it might change over the course of your fishing trip so you can use it to your advantage.

Water turbidity

Water turbidity great affects your ability to locate fish. When the water is cloudy, the fish will be harder to see making it more challenging to know where to drop your line. High turbidity also impacts fish feeding behavior. When visibility is poor, predatory fish will target prey that is less mobile prey which should influence the bait you use.

Position of the sun

The position of the sun impacts where fish spend their time. If the sun is high in the sky, the fish are more likely to be swimming in deeper waters to escape the heat. If the sun is low on the horizon, try targeting shallower waters to locate fish.

Wind speed and direction

Wind speed and direction impact the positioning and movement of your bait. For example, if the wind is blowing towards you, it will be harder to keep your bait in one spot. But if the wind is blowing away from you, your bait will remain more steady and the fish will be swimming towards it. Consider wind conditions when choosing where you stand and where you cast when fishing.


All of these environmental factors can have an impact on how successful you are when fishing. So it’s important to be aware of them and adjust your fishing strategy accordingly. With that said, there’s no guarantee that you’ll always catch fish, but understanding these environmental factors will give you a better chance.

Photo by James Wheeler on Unsplash

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