How does Barometric Pressure affect Fishing?

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Fishers in boat at dawn.

I have known for a while that the barometric pressure affects fishing, but I always forget how. Every time I want to use the barometric pressure to figure out how fishing will be, I had to spend a while researching the subject. NOT ANY MORE! I put together a cheat sheet that I will start referring to. I’ve provided this guide for you below so you can turn to it when choosing a strategy based on current barometric pressure.

  • High Pressure (30.50 +) = Clear Skies = Fishing Medium to Slow = Fish slowly in deeper water or near cover.
  • Medium Pressure (29.70 – 30.40) = Fair Weather = Normal Fishing = Test lures, baits, and techniques to see what works.
  • Low Pressure (29.60 -) = Cloudy/Rainy Weather = Fishing Slows = Fish slowly in deeper water or near cover.
  • Rising Pressure = Improving Weather = Fish Slightly Active = Fish slowly in deeper water or near cover.
  • Stable Pressure = Fair Weather = Normal Fishing = Best time to test lures, baits, and techniques to see what works.
  • Falling Pressure = Degrading Weather = Best Fishing = The fish will attack anything you throw at them. (well, pretty much)

So, what is the best barometric pressure for fishing? Answer: When it’s between about 29.90 and 30.90 and the pressure is rapidly falling. This is when you will find the fish most active and feeding.

Fishing Barometer

You could check the barometric pressure online, but I prefer to have my own hand-held barometer, so I can keep an eye on the pressure in real-time. That way I can see exactly when the pressure starts moving in a favorable direction, and still make it to the lake in time for some awesome fishing.

Fishing Barometers

If you want to get one, I recommend you check this out. I found some nice barometers that won’t cost you an arm and a leg (as cheap as $5). You can See the Prices or Buy them HERE.

Save this “Barometric Pressure Cheat Sheet” in your favorites/bookmarks so you can come back to it when needed. Remember that barometric pressure is only one of the many factors that affects fish feeding. So don’t expect it to work every time.

Barometric pressure among the most critical factors to consider when fishing. However, there are others you should also be aware of. The most important of these include how water temperature impacts fish activity, the moon phase which impacts feeding patterns and wind direction which influences food location. Also factor in the time of day and how much light you bring if fishing at night when planning your next fishing trip.

And if you’re new to UL fishing, learn the basics with our guide to ultralight fishing!

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