plays a greater role in the daily activity of largemouth bass than any other factor.
To improve your success, you should know how the following weather conditions
affect bass fishing.
WEATHER. When weather conditions are stable or gradually changing, bass go
through a routine of feeding and resting that is often predictable from one day
to the next. For example, during an extended period of overcast weather, a school
of bass may feed on a sharp-breaking point at midday, then drop back into deeper
water. The school usually repeats this daily pattern, as long as weather conditions
FRONTS. Largemouths feed heavily just before a strong cold
front, often providing spectacular fishing for several hours. But once the front
arrives, they eat very little until 1 or 2 days after the system passes. Catching
bass under these conditions is difficult and requires special techniques with
lighter lines and smaller lures. A cold front affects bass fishing in the following
Warm Fronts affect bass in different ways, depending on
the season and water temperatures. A series of warm days in spring or fall will
raise water temperatures in the shallows, causing bass to feed.
several unusually warm days may draw bass toward the surface to absorb the warmth
of the sun. The fish become more accessible to fishermen and more likely to feed
or take a lure. But a string of hot days in summer may warm a shallow lake or
pond so much that largemouths become sluggish and difficult to catch.
CLOUDS usually precede a major cold front. These clouds may be 100 miles ahead
of an approaching front. They indicate that largemouths will soon be feeding heavily.
build as a front approaches. Lightning and strong winds often accompany these
towering clouds. The feeding frenzy may peak just before these clouds arrive.
FRONTS may leave skies overcast for several days. Look for bass feeding in
the shallows during this low-light condition.
following a cold front filters out few of the sunís rays. Light penetrates deeper
into the water, forcing bass to move out of the shallows.
promise better fishing. The white, fluffy clouds signal that the cold front has
passed. Bass will soon resume their normal activity.
How Wind Affects Bass Fishing
Like warming trends, wind can either improve or ruin fishing. A steady wind will
concentrate minute organisms near shore or along timber and brush lines. Baitfish
feed in these areas, attracting bass and other predators. In spring, warm winds
blowing from the same direction for several days can pile up warm water on the
downwind shore. This warmer water holds more bass than other areas of the lake.
Waves washing into shore loosen soil and debris, creating a band of
muddy water. Bass hang along the mud line, where they can avoid bright light,
but still dart into clear water to grab food.
If the wind becomes too strong,
it can impair fishing success in shallow areas. Turbulence caused by heavy waves
pushes bass into deeper water, where they are harder to find. In shallow lakes,
strong winds often churn the water enough to make the entire lake murky, slowing
fishing for several days.
Calm Conditions enable bass in clear
water to see objects above them. Fishermen and boaters easily spook bass in shallow
water. Wave action bends or refracts light rays, making it more difficult for
largemouths to see movements on or above the surface.
Conditions (left) enable bass in clear water to see objects above them. Fishermen
and boaters easily spook bass in shallow water. Wave action (right) bends or refracts
light rays, making it more difficult for largemouths to see movement on or above
breaking against shore dislodge food items. Winds also push planton toward shore,
attracting minnows. Bass move in to feed.
Rain Affects Bass Fishing
RAIN. Rainy weather usually improves
bass fishing. The overcast skies reduce light penetration, so bass are more comfortable
in shallow water. In reservoirs, runoff flows into the back ends of coves. The
murky water causes bass to move in and feed. The same situation occurs near stream
inlets, drainage ditches or storm sewer pipes on many natural lakes.
Fishing success may decline during and after heavy rains. Runoff from torrential
rains can muddy an entire body of water, causing fish to stop biting. Angling
remains slow until the water clears, which may take several days or weeks.
Lightning and thunder drive largemouths into the depths. If the weather looks
threatening, you should head for shore immediately. Your boat may be the highest
point on the lake, making you vulnerable to a lightning strike.
fishermen can identify certain clouds and other atmospheric conditions that indicate
coming changes in the weather. They know how bass react to these changes and plan
their angling strategy accordingly.
RUNOFF into clear lakes creates patches of muddy water. Bass congregate wherever
turbid water enters the lake, such as the inlets of streams and drainage ditches,
or near storm sewer pipes.
AND THUNDER drive largemouths into the depths. If the weather looks threatening,
head for shore immediately. Your boat may be the highest point on the lake, making
you vulnerable to a lightning strike.