BAROMETRIC PRESSURE FOR BASS FISHING
I believe that all anglers have heard the term barometric pressure more then a few times in their lives. Many people say it's extremely important while many others ignore it and say that it really isn't an important factor when it comes to bass fishing (or any type of fishing for that matter). Before we discuss whether it is important or not, we have to know what it is. Without getting too technical: What the heck is the barometer and barometric pressure anyway? Barometric pressure is simply another term for atmospheric pressure (a.k.a. air pressure). It is the force that the air above us exerts on us and the environment around us.
The Barometer is simply the device used to measure the barometric pressure. Does it really matter to us? As bass fisherman, understanding the environmental conditions in and around the body of water we are fishing and their effect on the bass are crucial if we want to succeed. Temperature, time of year, fronts, cloudy/sunny days, wind, cover, structure, type of the body of water etc all tie together when figuring out bass. Whether you are a firm believer or not on the barometric pressure's effect on the fish, Through my years of bass fishing, I have noticed that the barometric pressure has a profound effect on bass and you may not even realize it. While you may not look at the actual measurements, observant anglers will notice the effects of the barometric pressure and it's changes. So what does it do? Stormy and non-stormy, bright sunny days both have a dramatic effect on the bass. When a storm or front is moving in ,THE BAROMETER DROPS (and the bass feel that change) and when you have a bright, sunny day, THE BAROMETER RISES (the bass obviously react to that too). In the summer, the warmer phases of the prespawn, the postspawn, and in early to mid fall, fishing right before or as a storm is rolling in will generally result in the bass going on a feeding rampage. Especially in the summer, (but also in the other warm parts of the year) as soon as I feel the weather/cloud cover change to more cloud cover and even better, if the temperature drops, I love to move shallow and break out my topwater and other moving baits. More times than not, they crush faster lures and topwaters (some days are weird so it's never a 100% guarantee this will happen).
These conditions indicate a DROP IN THE BAROMETER. They know that once the front passes they will not feed as much and hunker down in heavy cover because the conditions will be unfavorable. So in order to prepare for the bad conditions ahead, they go on a heavy feeding spre to stock up for the passing of the storm or front. Now when that storm or front passes and the sun is high and bright and THE BAROMETER RISES, they will hunker down and avoid the harsh UV rays. Bass do not have eyelids or a nice pair of Costas or Oakleys so they have to adapt (smallies generally prefer the sun in contrast to largemouths). So how about the colder parts of the year like winter, late fall, iceout, and the early stages of prespawn?
These times of the year I generally find to be a bit different. Regardless of the sun bothering their eyes, their first concern is getting into warmer water to feed and depending on if the spawn is a factor, to start making beds and go on the spawn migration. So a lot of times, I think in the coldest parts of the year the bass will feed more on those sunny, HIGH BAROMETRIC PRESSURE DAYS as the sun warms the body of water quicker and thus warming up these cold- blooded bass. Consistent weather (and especially warm, consistent weather and conditions) these times of the year really help the bass feed more. To conclude: While you may not look directly at the barometer, remember that the barometric pressure goes hand and hand with fronts and storms, both of which have a massive effect in bass behavior and movement.