How Barometric Pressure Affects Fishing

How Barometric Pressure Affects Fishing

There are many variables when it comes to choosing optimal fishing times. Weather, location, time, water temperature, tide, moon phase, type of bait, and more can all affect your fishing success. But barometric pressure is undoubtedly one of the major factors that influence fish activity.

Let's take a deep dive into understanding barometric pressure and how it can help anglers catch more fish.

What is Barometric Pressure?

Barometric pressure is the measurement of air pressure in the atmosphere, specifically the measurement of the weight exerted by air molecules at a given location.

Pressure Fishing
Image credit: Wawang Lake Resort

How does Barometric Pressure affect Fish?

Air pressure impacts fish due to their swim bladders. Fish have gas-filled swim bladders that help them maintain buoyancy. Changes in barometric pressure have a direct impact on the buoyancy of a fish's swim bladder, and this is believed to strongly influence feeding behavior. The swim bladder responds to pressure changes and causes fish to react by swimming higher or deeper in the water.

The Kestrel DROP D3 data logger makes it easy to monitor barometric pressure and other environmental conditions that can help you predict the best time to go fishing. It's compact, durable, and waterproof. Toss it in your bag and you'll have accurate weather information for your location available at all times.

"The key to consistent catches is understanding how barometric pressure and other mitigating factors - both natural and human-related - affect fish behavior on your favorite lakes, and adjusting your fishing tactics to match."

Track the barometric pressure with your D3 and easily view the conditions on your phone with the Kestrel LiNK App

Barometric Pressure and Fish Feeding Times

All of this information can help you better your chances of fishing success. If you're a savvy angler, you probably already use water temperature, moon phases and seasonal changes to dictate when and where to fish.

Tracking the barometric pressure adds one more discerning factor to your fishing strategy. In the same way that you equip yourself with performance fishing gear, you can use tools to find your fish by reading the barometric pressure.

Fish usually prefer to feed during periods of stable high pressure. When a cold front begins to arrive (often preceded by low pressure), the fish sense a drop in barometric pressure and start to feed furiously.

When pressure starts falling, that usually indicates a storm is coming. This means fish become very active trying to feed as much as possible before they hunker down in deep water to wait out the storm.

Once the low pressure system has passed and a high-pressure system rolls in, it can take between 24-48 hours to see another round of active feeding.

Barometric Pressure Fish Activity
High Pressure:
Clear Skies
30.50 ↑ Low to medium activity levels. Look for fish in deeper water or around hiding places.
Medium Pressure:
Fair Weather
29.70 – 30.40 Normal fishing conditions. Try different lures, baits techniques to see what works.
Low Pressure:
29.60 ↓ Activity slows down. Fish in deeper water or near cover.
Rising Pressure Weather is improving Fish are slightly active. Fish in deeper water or near cover.
Stable Pressure Fair weather Normal fishing conditions. Try different lures, baits techniques to see what works.
Falling Pressure Weather is worsening Excellent fishing conditions! Highly active. Experiment with faster lures and fishing techniques.

The very best time to go fishing is when the barometric pressure is in the process of changing because the fish will be active and ready to feed. Now that you’ve been schooled on barometric pressure, bring a DROP D3 along with you on your next fishing trip for a successful day on the water.