Good anglers know that there are many factors to consider when preparing for a fishing trip, including the type of equipment, the type of bait and the location. Also important for maximizing chances for success is an understanding of how the weather will affect fishing conditions.
Fish, like many other animals, have very good senses about the weather. They are extremely sensitive to passing fronts and pressure changes.
The weather ahead of cold fronts will lead to favorable fishing conditions due to lower pressure. Because fish are so good at sensing changes in pressure, they will often increase their activity in the days before a cold front moves in, creating good conditions for catching.
"Ahead of a cold front, as pressure is falling, air bubbles are released in the water," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Samuhel. "They can take small particles and organisms with them up to the surface, bringing fish up to feed on them."
After the front passes through and for a few days after, conditions will remain poor, however. The high pressure that follows behind cold fronts contributes to lethargic fish that won't move as far or as near the surface. Fish are less likely to come up and feed as frequently during high pressure as they will when the pressure is lower.
Warm fronts also offer up ideal fishing conditions. Lower pressure and weaker winds will bring fish closer to the surface and liven them up for swimming longer distances.
Rain can affect how well the fish will be biting as well. Fishing during a light rain makes casting lines more discreet. Insects are also more likely to be out flying near the surface of the water during or immediately following a light rain, which will bring fish closer to the surface and make them more susceptible to being caught. Rain can also cause more organic matter to run into bodies of water and lure fish to the surface to eat.
Other important factors to look into before going fishing are the local and state regulations. Always be aware of what is legally required before setting out on the water, including getting the proper licenses, and be sure not to fish for any species that are not yet in season.