While many factors greatly affect one’s bass fishing experience, barometric pressure is said to be one of them.
The pressure of the atmosphere is known as the barometric pressure. When it is high, air sinks and is forced towards the ground. The same air has to rise again, and when it does, it cools down and the moisture in the air condenses; this causes the barometric pressure to go down.
While some anglers swear that it plays an essential role in determining the success of their fishing trip, the scientific information on the exact effects that this pressure has on bass is quite little.
Expert individuals have come up with various theories to determine the influence of barometric pressure on bass. Let’s discuss the conclusion of these theories and try to get a better understanding of variables that determine your likelihood of catching bass.
A few major factors involved in the creation of clouds are the amount of moisture, air pressure, and associated temperatures. Changes in pressure are often an indication of a change in the overall weather.
Unfortunately, the research available on the relation of air pressure and fish is limited. However, we do know a few things.
Firstly, a fish that has a gas bladder only has to swim about a foot in the upwards or downwards direction. However, during the occurrence of hurricanes and typhoons, the effect is much greater and noticeable.
When fish go to deeper depths while hunting prey or traveling towards a different location, they might experience larger changes in pressure.
The fish that have closed gas bladders, including black bass, use those bladders to acquire the natural density and to hold themselves stable at constant depths.
Through this weightlessness, energy is conserved; thus, their need to swim also reduces. When changes are occurring in air pressure and depths, these fish adapt bladder pressure to naturally re-establish equilibrium.
They remain in a state where the opposing forces are balanced. Therefore, when these fish remain at depths for a longer period, it becomes very unlikely for them to sense pressure changes and they end up overriding them.
Biologists have long indicated that waves, clouds, lighting changes, and other varying extreme weather conditions affect hunting success, as these conditions don’t allow the predators to have clear visuals.
However, they have never identified sensory systems or any kind of physical mechanisms that can detect the effect of slight air pressure shifts on bass and other fish.
Does Barometric Pressure Affect Bass Fishing?
As an angler, you must have heard a bunch of bass fishing tales about the weather and barometric pressure affecting fishing.
There’s a myth that higher atmospheric pressure nauseates fish and thus they do not bite, making a day with such weather condition a terrible one for fishing.
After reviewing many studies and reading several accounts regarding the best barometric pressure for bass fishing, we found out that the results for each of them were quite similar.
Based on different levels of barometric pressure, here is the conclusion that most of them came up with:
High Pressure – Low Fishing
High barometric pressure is considered to be around 30.50 inches of Mercury or 1032.849 millibar. This is when the skies are clear. With this barometric pressure, it is believed that fish bite at a medium to slow pace and you need to fish slowly in deeper waters or near cover.
Medium Pressure – Normal Fishing
Medium barometric pressure is considered to be around 29.70 to 30.40 inches of Mercury or 1005.757 to 1029.462 millibar. The weather is quite fair in this condition.
It is recommended to fish normally at this point and use various fishing baits and different gear that specifically target the bass’ behavior, patterns, and characteristics.
Low Pressure – Low Fishing
Low barometric pressure is considered to be around 29.60 inches of Mercury or 1002.371 millibar. The weather at this point is either rainy or very cloudy.
You want to opt for low fishing at this atmospheric pressure. Approach the fish at a slower pace and search for them in deeper waters or near cover.
Rising Pressure/Improving Weather – Fish are Slightly Active
As the barometric pressure rises, the weather keeps improving with it. At this rate, the bass become slightly active. It is recommended that you try striking them at a slower pace and in deeper waters or near covers where they’re hiding.
Stable Pressure/Fair Weather – Normal Fishing
A stable barometric pressure indicates fair weather. During this time, you don’t need to adapt any special methods or use any advanced gear. You can use whichever kind of gear suits you the best and give various baits a try.
Falling Pressure/Degrading Weather – Best Fishing
When the barometric pressure is falling, the weather degrades; this provides the best fishing environment. No need to worry about not getting enough bites. The fish are likely to feed on anything that becomes available to them!
Although the above outcomes have come from various studies and researches, we still await solid scientific interpretation and evidence that explains the relationship between the changes in barometric pressure and bass behavior when they are isolated from other contradicting impacts of weather conditions.
Until a scientifically reasonable mechanism comes into the picture, we think that it is more appropriate to consider sky and weather conditions rather than atmospheric pressure while explaining bass activity and inactivity.