Home » Barbs and Backlashes » Not as bad as you think. . .

Not as bad as you think. . .

Any angler will tell you that weather has a big impact on fish behavior.  In fact most anglers dread a cold front. . .

cold front poster

Generally, I will tell you that stable weather, usually warming weather, produces the most consistent and best fishing.  Just before a storm system or a cold front blows through, a period of stable weather can culminate with an outstanding bite where every fish in the lake seems starved.  Following a cold front or storm system the skies clear, it is cooler, the barometer starts rising and the wind shifts to northerly directions.  Many anglers will try to isolate one of those weather variables, typically something like the barometer, and claim that one variable influences fish behavior.  I do NOT buy into that because I have seen very little research that makes that link, and when the weather changes there are a whole lot of changes, not just the barometer.  It is impractical to isolate just one variable.  Personally, I believe things like that become excuses for poor fishing more than real explanations to what is happening below the surface of the water.  Anglers, men in particular, do not like to admit they were not good enough to catch fish on a particular trip, so they find something to blame, come up with some excuse.

Nevertheless, it is a fact that weather changes influence fish behavior.  It may not be so much a matter of the fish not biting as they have shifted to a different area, or they fed heavily before a weather change and are not as hungry afterwards.  So, there is some truth in dreading cold fronts, and fall is a season when we will see a progression of cold fronts and weather shifts.

However, I have experienced some fantastic fishing in the fall following the passage of cold fronts.  On some post-front days when the “conventional fishing wisdom” would tell you the bite is going to be tough, I have seen the fish “turn on”.  In the fall, I have had made some of my best catches on days right after a front passed.  It is almost like the passage of a cold front in the fall, that weather change with some colder temperatures, is a “signal” to the fish that winter is coming and they better put on some extra calories while they can.

Do not sit around whining about the weather and cold fronts.  I will always tell you that the best time to go fishing is whenever you have time.  GO FISH!  Get out there on some days this fall when the wind has shifted to the north and you can feel fall in the air.  The fish can feel it too, and they are feeding!

Walleye release

About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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