How Barometric Pressure Affects Bass Fishing

 Nov 1st, 2023 by sworrall 

Modified Nov 1st, 2023 at 5:36 PM


BY: Matthew Fedora

You don’t often hear about barometric pressure from other fishermen. It just sounds like a term from science class, but this pressure actually affects bass fishing a lot. It causes bass to act differently. So bass anglers also need to change their fishing tactics in order to optimize fishing success during changing barometric pressure.

What is Barometric Pressure?

The barometric pressure is essentially the weight of the atmosphere at any given time. The atmosphere is constantly pressing down on everything and everyone. However, it is also constantly changing. The barometric pressure goes up and down from day-to-day and hour-to-hour. Us humans are not adept enough to feel or notice these pressure changes, but fish and other animals can detect even small changes in pressure.


Does Barometric Pressure Affect Bass Fishing?

Yes, the barometric pressure has a significant effect on bass location and behavior. Changing pressure tells the bass that weather is changing, a cold front is coming in, the seasons are transitioning, a storm system is on the way, and other natural phenomena. These weather conditions all have large impacts on bass, and the pressure changes give bass a heads up about what is about to happen. This causes changes in bass behavior.


Do Bass Bite Better When Pressure is Rising or Falling?

Bass will bite a lot more when the pressure is low and falling. Generally, the lower the pressure, the better the bass fishing will be. Signs of low pressure are things like the wind picking up, clouds rolling in, and temperatures dropping. The biggest pressure drops will come right before a big cold front or storm. This tells bass that they need to hurry up and eat before the harsh conditions arrive. The water will get rougher, muddier, colder, and more dangerous. So, bass bite a lot when the pressure is falling in order to prepare for the incoming weather conditions. Once the cold front or storm passes, the pressure rises back up. There will be bluebird skies and very little wind. Bass are still full from all the food they ate while the pressure was dropping.


Where Do Bass Go in High and Low Pressure?

Barometric pressure is a weight pushing down on the bass. When the pressure is high, the bass will be pushed down deeper in the water column. When the pressure falls and gets really low, the weight will be lifted and bass will rise back up in the water column. During the sunny, calm, high pressure days, bass will be much lower in the water column towards the bottom. During the cloudy, windy, low pressure days, bass will be up close to the surface.


What Makes Barometric Pressure Rise or Fall?

Barometric pressure is changed because of weather conditions and changes. For the most part, falling pressure indicates bad weather is coming, and rising pressure indicates good weather is coming. An incoming storm or cold front will cause the pressure to drop. Once this storm system or cold front passes through, the pressure will rise back up. Altitude also changes barometric pressure. The higher you are above sea level, the lower the pressure will be.


How to Catch Bass in Low Barometric Pressure

During low pressure, bass will be high in the water column, very aggressive, and very hungry. You really want to be trying to get reaction strikes from these aggressive bass. Use lures like spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, walking baits, or other fast moving baits that can be fished near to the surface. Power fishing really shines in low and dropping pressure conditions.


How to Catch Bass in High Barometric Pressure

During high pressure, bass will be low in the water column, more sluggish, and not as willing to eat. Slower lures or finesse fishing techniques will be best for these conditions. Finesse swimbaits, drop shot, weightless soft plastics, or other slower presentations. You should also use more natural colors and lure designs because bass are quite picky during high or rising pressure.


Reeling this In

Barometric pressure significantly affects bass behavior. Low pressure raises bass to the surface and makes them very aggressive. High pressure pushes bass down to the bottom and makes them more sluggish. Shallower, faster lures will work the best during low or falling pressure. Deeper, slower lures will work best during high or rising pressure. This may seem like just another factor amongst dozens of others that affect bass. And to some extent, it is, but it is important that you understand what pressure does to bass and how you should go about fishing for them.

More like this