Working with Weather
Fish have the ability to detect changes in barometric pressure with their air bladder. Fish with larger air bladders are more sensitive to these changes than fish with smaller ones. Barometric pressure affects fish behavior, it is important to know how fish will react, and what style of fishing will be best if you want to optimize your time on the water.
Understanding Weather Patterns
High Pressure Systems 30.50+ and Clear Skies
Classified as a beautiful day. The sun is shining there aren't many clouds and there might be a gentle breeze on the water. A medium approach with lures and baits in deeper water and near cover works best. Over the course of the year fish will be in different locations on these days, and I will get more into that in the seasons post. A general rule for High pressure days is to use flashy baits and lures that will reflect the most amount of light for the water clarity.
Medium Pressure Systems 29.70-30.40 Fair Weather
Medium Pressure tends to mean it can be a bit cloudy, maybe a bit of wind. It's an average day, nothing outstanding but its not dreary. Fishing during medium pressure can be classified as "normal fishing". Adjusting lures and baits and locations until finding what works. Typically during days like this I will try out a few different lures and approaches depending on how the pressure was the day before and what its projected to be in the coming days.
Low Pressure Systems 29.60 and under. Rainy/Cloudy
Rain, wind and heavy cloud cover. When the meter drops below 29.60 fish activity drops dramatically. During low pressure systems or the day after the fish will be deeper and not feeding. It's tough to get them to be interested in anything. This is where I go with the two SS's. Size and Speed. When fishing in low pressure you want to fish very slowly with smaller lures and baits. Low pressure is where live bait will really give an edge on bringing fish into the boat.
Rising Pressure/Weather Improving
Right after a low pressure system comes through and high pressure is on the forecast the fish are going to be lethargic for a day or two. Continuing to use a slow approach with smaller baits is still highly recommended for rising pressure fishing.
If the pressure is stable in high pressure the fishing will be good, they will be active up and down the water column and using a variety of baits and lures until finding something that works is best.
Falling Pressure/Degrading Weather
Fishing during a pressure drop can be amazing, this is when the fish are the most active and will hit almost anything you throw in the water. Some of the biggest fish I have caught have been while the pressure was falling. Fish will gorge themselves while the pressure falls so they don't have to be as active during the low pressure system. Fish will be shallower, big predators will be trolling bays and flats taking advantage of the rougher water and clouds as cover. Fish will also be following the bait fish very closely. The best fishing happens during a pressure drop.
Reading the Wind
The wind has a big impact on where fish will be on the water. A strong wind will push bait fish to a part of the lake and the bigger fish will follow the bait fish to that part of the lake. For example, if the wind is blowing from the SE across the lake then fishing the NW part of the lake will be where a majority of the fish will be. Another way to use the wind would be to find a shoal or sunken island and fish on the NW side of the island so that the baits and lures will float from the shallow water over the deep water so it would mimic a bait fish getting blown off the reef.