Best Barometric Pressure For Fishing

Best Barometric Pressure For Fishing

Fishermen, this one is for you!

What’s the best barometric pressure for fishing? Believe it or not, barometric pressure has a lot to do with how successful your fishing trip will be. In this post, we’ll describe what barometric pressure is, how it affects fishing, and how to track barometric pressure so you can plan your trips accordingly.

Once you know all there is to know about barometric pressure and its impact on fishing; you can start planning your trips according to the weather conditions. This way, you’re in a much better position to have a successful fishing trip – every time.

Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about the best barometric pressure for fishing!

What is the Best Barometric Pressure for Fishing?

The best barometric pressure for fishing is between 29.70 and 30.40 inHg, which is considered a “Falling Pressure” – when the pressure has dropped from high to medium. Falling pressure often results in degrading weather – when clear skis turn into fair/cloudy weather before the rain.

What Is Barometric Pressure?

Before diving into how barometric pressure affects fishing, let’s quickly go over what barometric pressure is. Barometric pressure is the atmospheric pressure within the Earth’s atmosphere at a given time. It’s measured with a mercury barometer and expressed in millibars or inches of mercury (inHg).

The average sea-level barometric pressure is 1013.25 mbar or 29.92 inHg. This value will fluctuate depending on the weather conditions. For example, barometric pressure decreases when a low-pressure system approaches and increases during high-pressure situations.

Does Barometric Pressure Affect Fishing?

man fishing on boat

Barometric pressure has a direct impact on fish behavior. When low barometric pressure, fish will still be active and can be spotted close to the surface but become nervous and spooked easily. In contrast, when the barometric pressure is high, fish are less active and tend to stay close to the bottom while feeding at a much slower rate.

This is because barometric pressure changes affect the water’s dissolved oxygen levels. As barometric pressure decreases, the amount of oxygen dissolved in water also decreases. This can lead to fish being more active as they search for areas with higher oxygen levels.

On the other hand, when the barometric pressure is high, the amount of dissolved oxygen in water increases. This can lead to less active fish as they don’t need to search for areas with higher oxygen levels.

Is Fishing Better With Low or High Atmospheric Pressure?

Now that you know how barometric pressure impacts fish behavior, you might be wondering if it’s better to fish when the barometric pressure is low or high.

The answer to this question depends on what kind of fish you’re hoping to catch. If you’re targeting bottom-dwelling fish like catfish, then high pressure is better, as these fish are less active and tend to stay close to the bottom.

On the other hand, if you’re targeting fish that swim near the surface, like bass, then low pressure is better as these fish are more active and can be spotted close to the surface.

Of course, this is just a generalization, and there are always exceptions. For example, some fish might be more active during high pressure if they’re feeding on baitfish that are also more active during this time.

Barometric Pressure Chart for Fishing

ScaleBarometric Pressure RatingFish Behavior
High30.50+Fish stay near the bottom and feed sparsely
Medium29.70–30.40Average Fishing Conditions
Low29.60 and belowFish act timidly but can be active
RisingWeather is ImprovingFish gather in one area without much activity
StableFair WeatherFish are inactive and not feeding
FallingDegrading WeatherBest Fishing Conditions, fish are active; good chance of success

Not All Fish Are Created Equal

Just like all living species, we are affected by changes differently. The differentiating factor for how air pressure influences fish has everything to do with the swim bladder size for each species.

The larger the swim bladder, the more susceptible the fish, is to changes in air pressure. In contrast, the smaller the fish’s bladder size, the less affected they are by atmospheric pressure changes.

For example, Grouper, Snapper, and Trout are fish with larger swim bladders compared to Mahi Mahi, Barracuda, and Kingfish with smaller swim bladders and, therefore, will be more affected than the latter.

How to Identify Feeding Times Based on Air Pressure

Fish feed most aggressively when high pressure begins to decrease due to a cold front followed by low pressure. During that time of “Falling Pressure,” fish will feed ferociously.

Once the feeding starts to subside, fish seek out specific depths to help balance their internal organs.

So if you are a savvy angler, after reading the info above, you must be thinking: hmmm, how in the world do I measure barometric pressure?

How to Measure Barometric Pressure

Luckily, it is 2022, and we don’t have to depend on an old-fashioned barometer. Even though a fishing barometer works just as well, if not better than the app I use.

Best Fishing Barometers

Best Wall Mount
Best Overall
Best For On-The-Go
5.0
5.0
4.0
:

Whether you hang this weather station inside your cabin, pilot house, or at home in the office, this piece looks good and gives an accurate reading of the atmospheric pressure.

:

This is a complete weather station, including a barometer function. This device makes it easy to track all weather conditions in one place.

:

This barometer is perfect for taking on the go and can easily fit in your hand and in your pocket. It is durable and accurate.

$29.99
$38.89
$21.95
Best Wall Mount
5.0
:

Whether you hang this weather station inside your cabin, pilot house, or at home in the office, this piece looks good and gives an accurate reading of the atmospheric pressure.

$29.99
Best Overall
5.0
:

This is a complete weather station, including a barometer function. This device makes it easy to track all weather conditions in one place.

$38.89
Best For On-The-Go
4.0
:

This barometer is perfect for taking on the go and can easily fit in your hand and in your pocket. It is durable and accurate.

$21.95

06/29/2022 05:28 pm GMT

I prefer to track barometric pressure by using the fishing forecast app that can be installed in the Google Play apps section. This way, when I’m out on the water, I can have real-time updates and leave my barometer home on the porch.

Adjust Your Fishing Techniques

Using the barometric pressure chart we provided above, you can adjust your fishing techniques to give yourself the best chance for success.

Below is how I would approach the two extremes of barometric pressure.

Extreme High-Pressure Conditions

During extremely high pressure, fish will congregate near the bottom, and feeding will be slow.

The best fishing technique during extreme high pressure is to bottom fish using cut bait.

Bottom fishing with cut bait makes it easy for a fish to say yes to what they see as easy prey.

Extreme Low-Pressure Conditions

Using topwater lures while trolling or casting and retrieving is the best way to fish during times of extremely low pressure.

During times of low air pressure, fish congregate closer to the surface but are also timider and spooked easier, so set your lines further away from the vessel than you would during normal fishing conditions.

Final Thoughts

If you’re like me, the best time to go fishing is whenever you have the chance. But if you have the luxury of picking and choosing the ideal weather conditions to wet a line, I hope this article has been a great resource.

Reference the barometric pressure chart above when you need a reminder of the best barometric pressure for fishing. Either download the fishing forecast app or purchase a barometer for fishing. Then you’ll be all set and at an advantage over the other fellas pushing off at the wrong times. But remember, share the love and spread the word about the best barometric pressure for fishing.

For guides on choosing the best fishing gear, check out the pages below:

Tight lines!

Captain Tyler Brady

Captain Tyler Brady

Hi, I'm Captain Tyler Brady, founder of A Fellow Fisherman. Thank you for reading this post and visiting my site. I strive to provide the best information when it comes to fishing, whether it is myself or A Fellow Fisherman that is part of my team. Now stop reading and GO fishing!

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