For years anglers have been murmering the idea that barometric pressure influences a bass’s feeding habits. This may seem to hold true but we really aren’t positive that the feeding habits are directly related to the barometric pressure or if the bass are reacting to a range of other variables.
Before we go into our thoughts on this idea it is best that we explain the theory first. When barometric pressure is high the air is sinking and pushing on the ground. The air that once sank must eventually rise again. When the air does rise again it cools and causes the air to condense, along with the condension the rising air causes the barometric pressure to drop. The theory states that when barometric pressure is high the swim bladder of the fish will feel that increased pressure, this makes the fish feel tired and sluggish. The thought is that because the underwater environment is already more than one atmosphere of pressure under the surface any small fluctuation will be amplified in the underwater environment.
The other school of thought states that because of the high pressures of the water fish won’t recognize the small changes of air pressure. This thought can both be backed by and argued against by the fact that at 32.8ft the water pressure is equal to about two atmospheres. Depending on what way you look at it some people say that it would take a massive amount of air pressure for fish to notice a difference with that kind of water pressure while others will say that the fish are constantly feeling the downward push of water and are constantly adjusting to the pressures anyway. The anglers that do not believe that barometric pressures influence fish are more inclined to think that fish are reacting to changes in weather conditions, not barometric pressure.
No matter what way you look at it the change in weather is a factor of the barometric pressure. When you have high pressure you also have clear blue skies and heat, with low pressure you have clouds and rain. Recognizing this enables you to realize what you need to be doing for each set of unique conditions. For example, when fishing in high pressure, blue sky, conditions it is more often than not better to fish cover or fish deep with a slow presentation to get those fish that are slow moving or hiding in the shadows. The opposite can be said for fishing low pressure systems, these low pressure systems offer anglers highly advantages conditions, the clouds reduce visibility and cause bass to roam and the rain can drive the bass into a feeding frenzy for a short time. When it comes to fishing low pressure systems a spinnerbait that produces a lot of noise it often my best bet, along with a lipless crankbait.
Here at Bad Poncho Outdoors we do our best to fish during dropping pressures or low-visbility periods. It is merely our personal opinion that fishing these low pressure conditions produce more and larger fish on average. If you can couple low pressure conditions with some night fishing you have our favorite fishing conditions.
Whether you believe in the theory or not being able to quickly adapt to changing pressures or conditions will promptly make you a better angler. Let us know what you think of the barometric pressure theory on Facebook!