How Weather Affects Fishing is a wild card that you can’t control—although you can adapt to how it affects fish location and behavior. Stable weather promotes fish activity and feeding; cold fronts tend to slow fish activity to a crawl; in between, condition gradually improve until the next major front hits. Adjust your tactics to the daily conditions, fishing fast for aggressive fish during good weather, slowly and precisely for tentative biters after cold fronts, and experiment with speed and technique during in between conditions.
Fishing in the Upper Midwest can be a roller coaster ride, with three or four days of relatively stable weather followed by a cold front that brings rain, wind, and cloud cover. This can cause fish to become less active and aggressive, and can make fishing more difficult. However, experienced anglers can adjust their tactics to the changing conditions and still have success.
Weather Affects Fishing
Fish respond to changes in weather in mysterious ways. When a cold front passes through, fish may become less active and aggressive, and may tuck down into corners or tight to the bottom. As the weather warms and conditions improve, fish mobility and aggressiveness increases, eventually reaching a peak.
If you have the luxury to pick your times and places to fish only during stable weather conditions, fishing can be relatively easy and consistent. However, if you’re like most weekend warriors, the weather is a crapshoot and you have to adjust your tactics to the conditions.
Adjusting Tactics to Weather
Good anglers adjust their tactics to weather-related changes in fish position and mood. When fish are active and aggressive, they can be contacted quickly. When they become finicky, anglers must slow down and adjust their tactics to tempt bites in key places where fish tend to lay low.
Although we may not fully understand the elusive combination of factors that trigger weather-related responses in fish, if we recognize that they do occur, we can adjust accordingly. This is what helps put fish in the boat at times when other folks are simply saying that they’re not biting.
Fish are always biting, at least a little, if you know where, when, and how to get them. Experienced anglers can adjust their tactics to the changing weather conditions and still have success. By recognizing that fish do respond to weather-related changes, anglers can adjust accordingly and put fish in the boat.