How Does Weather Affect Fishing?

There are many ways that weather will affect your fishing. Hot summer days can slow down fish, but warm days in the early spring can trigger activity. Rainy days may not seem like the best outdoor conditions, but many anglers swear that wet weather is prime-time for fishing.
There’s no escaping the fact that weather will affect your fishing, so let’s look at some of the factors.


One thing you will want to pay attention to is water temperature. In many areas especially freshwater fishing, water temperature is a major factor, and cold, dreary days or hot, summer afternoons can quickly change the water temperature and the behavior of fish. For example, in the early spring, pre-spawn bass generally like a water temperature around 45 degrees. If the winter weather has lingered, pre-spawn activity may come later. If there has been early spring warmth, you may be able to catch bass much earlier in the season.


Sunny days are great for getting out on the water, casting some lines, and enjoying the sport of fishing, but many anglers claim that cloudy days are the ideal time to fish. When the day is cloudy, fish may be less likely to see fishing lines, shadows from the boat, and other visual cues that can cause them to spook. Also, during sunny days, shallow-water fish may hole up under structures like trees and docks to escape the sun.

One of the classic techniques for fishing is to match the brightness of the day with the brightness of your lure. Old angler’s wisdom says that if the day is bright and sunny, you should use a white or yellow lure, but if it is overcast, use a black or dark brown lure.


Obviously you never want to go out in dangerous storms, but if you get the chance to fish during a light rain, take it. Reduced light from the cloud cover can trigger feeding instincts, and the rain can be a great condition for throwing active lures for catching aggressive fish. Also, because of the rain, many (less dedicated) anglers will stay inside, so you can have the water all to yourself!


While the wind can make precision boating more difficult, choppy conditions have been known to trigger the feeding habits of many species, including bass, walleye, pike, and other game fish. Anglers will want to choose something that makes lots of noise and visuals cues, as they will have to rise above the commotion of splashing waves.

The truth is, there really isn't a bad time to go fishing. While performance anglers will want to pay attention to weather patterns, rain predictions, barometric pressure, cold fronts, and more, any time you can get out on the water and go after your favorite fish is time well spent.

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