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Walleye Lures and Baits

To get a fish to bite, you need to know how, where, whe­n, and what it eats.

1 Dave

 

Walleye are most active in morning and evening. They feed on small yellow perch, small northern pike, lake herring, other small bait fish and you can often find them around schools of these smaller fish. They eat a lot, they’re aggressive, and they’re not picky, which is good news for you. Because walleye eat by sucking in water around their prey, you’ll probably want to try smaller bait.

Look for walleye around submerged rocks, weedy flats, bars or other underwater barriers in the lakes.  Wawang Lake is known for all these types of great structure.

Many predators like such obstructio­ns, which help them ambush their food. Walleye locate their prey by sight, which means you’re not likely to find them in sunny waters; they retreat coyly to the shadows or the darker depths, often in groups. walleye’s strong vision also means you’ll have better luck with brightly colored lures, and you might even want to experiment with different colors.

­In the case of walleye, to seek out their location, you’ll also need to consider the time of year. Walleye like water between 55 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and they move to follow it. In spring and fall, you’ll find them in the shallows of lakes. In summer, they’ll be a bit deeper — though you’re not likely to find them in very deep waters (more than 50 feet).

Now that you know those basics, let’s find out how you can choose the right baits and lures.

Types of Walleye Fishing Lures

Nature-Jigs-1-WhiteLures are designed to mimic a fish’s natural prey, so think about­ walleye’s eating patterns and food. Lures that move quickly will attract these aggressive hunters. Additionally, lures should be similar in size to the smaller prey fish.

If you’re fishing with a jig head, choose the jig head based on water depth — the deeper the water, the heavier the head. For deeper walleye fishing, you’ll want a jig head of about ½ ounce. In shallower waters, you can go as light as a 1/8-ounce jig head. If conditions are rough or windy, a heavier jig can help.

26.5

Depending on the time of year, you may want something that sticks close to the bottom, like a small but heavy jig (with a lead head) or a crank bait.   If you go with a crank bait, again, choose one that mimics walleye’s natural prey — narrow, and between three and five inches long.

In various fishing conditions, you might want to try:

  • High-action lures:  designed to go deep (especially in warmer months)
  • Crank baits:  such as shad raps, jointed shad raps, or glass shad raps (with built-in rattles)
  • A balsa lure: such as a rapala
  • Live bait jigs: (for casting or trolling at the beginning of the fall season)
  • A #3 or #4 spinner
  • Trolling crank baits with more subtle action (better for the colder months

Finally, you can key your color choice to the sort of water you’ll be fishing. Use brighter colors for weedy or muddy waters.

Obviously, your bait depends on your choice of lure, as well as the fishing conditions. Read on.

Types of Walleye Fishing Baits

182Remember that walleye’s behavior and location chan­ges seasonally — so, the b­ait that worked so well at the beginning of September might not be the best one for May. Come prepared to try a few different kinds of baits, and remember that every angler works by trial and error.

When the weather is cold, you may find the best results with live bait. In cold water, walleye are sluggish. The movement of live bait will likely be most effective at stimulating them to bite. Walleye are more aggressive in warmer weather, and that can sometimes let you get away with plastic bait, especially plastic worms.   But many anglers swear by minnows year-round.

If you’re using a live bait jig, try minnows, worms, leeches or red tail chub. With a spinner, try a piece of worm.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One approach you may want to explore is coordinating your bait fish to whatever is schooling in the water. If you see a school of perch, for example, walleye are probably feeding close by, so use a perch colored lure tipped with live bait. Then let your jig drop a few feet at a time, the better to imitate the movement of the bait fish.   Obviously, this requires a bit more observation, flexibility and patience on your part. But isn’t that why you go fishing in the first place?

WEATHER TIP
Try to time your walleye fishing expedition so that it’s not coming right after a particularly cold snap. You can often have good luck during the turnover — the time when the weather is getting colder — because walleye follow their food into shallower waters, and often into less protected areas. But a particularly cold snap changes a lake’s temperature patterns so dramatically that it tends to put walleye into hiding until they’ve adjusted. Gradual changes are likely to offer better fishing

How To Cook Walleye
Now that you know how walleye eat, it’s time to learn how you can eat walleye. Walleye makes for a delicious meal, and depending on the preparation, it can be quite healthful as well. Try grilling walleye with fruit chutney, horseradish or pesto for a low-fat entrée. You can also bake, broil, fry, smoke or blacken walleye. Walleye is flavorful on its own, so you don’t need to do anything elaborate or complicated. 

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Tags: , , , , , , ,

Walleye Lures and Baits

To get a fish to bite, you need to know how, where, whe­n, and what it eats.

1 Dave

 

Walleye are most active in morning and evening. They feed on small yellow perch, small northern pike, lake herring, other small bait fish and you can often find them around schools of these smaller fish. They eat a lot, they’re aggressive, and they’re not picky, which is good news for you. Because walleye eat by sucking in water around their prey, you’ll probably want to try smaller bait.

Look for walleye around submerged rocks, weedy flats, bars or other underwater barriers in the lakes.  Wawang Lake is known for all these types of great structure.

Many predators like such obstructio­ns, which help them ambush their food. Walleye locate their prey by sight, which means you’re not likely to find them in sunny waters; they retreat coyly to the shadows or the darker depths, often in groups. walleye’s strong vision also means you’ll have better luck with brightly colored lures, and you might even want to experiment with different colors.

­In the case of walleye, to seek out their location, you’ll also need to consider the time of year. Walleye like water between 55 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and they move to follow it. In spring and fall, you’ll find them in the shallows of lakes. In summer, they’ll be a bit deeper — though you’re not likely to find them in very deep waters (more than 50 feet).

Now that you know those basics, let’s find out how you can choose the right baits and lures.

Types of Walleye Fishing Lures

Nature-Jigs-1-WhiteLures are designed to mimic a fish’s natural prey, so think about­ walleye’s eating patterns and food. Lures that move quickly will attract these aggressive hunters. Additionally, lures should be similar in size to the smaller prey fish.

If you’re fishing with a jig head, choose the jig head based on water depth — the deeper the water, the heavier the head. For deeper walleye fishing, you’ll want a jig head of about ½ ounce. In shallower waters, you can go as light as a 1/8-ounce jig head. If conditions are rough or windy, a heavier jig can help.

26.5

Depending on the time of year, you may want something that sticks close to the bottom, like a small but heavy jig (with a lead head) or a crank bait.   If you go with a crank bait, again, choose one that mimics walleye’s natural prey — narrow, and between three and five inches long.

In various fishing conditions, you might want to try:

  • High-action lures:  designed to go deep (especially in warmer months)
  • Crank baits:  such as shad raps, jointed shad raps, or glass shad raps (with built-in rattles)
  • A balsa lure: such as a rapala
  • Live bait jigs: (for casting or trolling at the beginning of the fall season)
  • A #3 or #4 spinner
  • Trolling crank baits with more subtle action (better for the colder months

Finally, you can key your color choice to the sort of water you’ll be fishing. Use brighter colors for weedy or muddy waters.

Obviously, your bait depends on your choice of lure, as well as the fishing conditions. Read on.

Types of Walleye Fishing Baits

182Remember that walleye’s behavior and location chan­ges seasonally — so, the b­ait that worked so well at the beginning of September might not be the best one for May. Come prepared to try a few different kinds of baits, and remember that every angler works by trial and error.

When the weather is cold, you may find the best results with live bait. In cold water, walleye are sluggish. The movement of live bait will likely be most effective at stimulating them to bite. Walleye are more aggressive in warmer weather, and that can sometimes let you get away with plastic bait, especially plastic worms.   But many anglers swear by minnows year-round.

If you’re using a live bait jig, try minnows, worms, leeches or red tail chub. With a spinner, try a piece of worm.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One approach you may want to explore is coordinating your bait fish to whatever is schooling in the water. If you see a school of perch, for example, walleye are probably feeding close by, so use a perch colored lure tipped with live bait. Then let your jig drop a few feet at a time, the better to imitate the movement of the bait fish.   Obviously, this requires a bit more observation, flexibility and patience on your part. But isn’t that why you go fishing in the first place?

WEATHER TIP
Try to time your walleye fishing expedition so that it’s not coming right after a particularly cold snap. You can often have good luck during the turnover — the time when the weather is getting colder — because walleye follow their food into shallower waters, and often into less protected areas. But a particularly cold snap changes a lake’s temperature patterns so dramatically that it tends to put walleye into hiding until they’ve adjusted. Gradual changes are likely to offer better fishing

How To Cook Walleye
Now that you know how walleye eat, it’s time to learn how you can eat walleye. Walleye makes for a delicious meal, and depending on the preparation, it can be quite healthful as well. Try grilling walleye with fruit chutney, horseradish or pesto for a low-fat entrée. You can also bake, broil, fry, smoke or blacken walleye. Walleye is flavorful on its own, so you don’t need to do anything elaborate or complicated. 

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Tags: , , , , , , ,

TIPS TO CATCHING SPRING WALLEYE

27 (2)

If hooking a big walleye is the plan then Wawang Lake is where you want to go whether it’s spring, summer or fall . While walleye are rather active and generally numbers are much easier to find during the spring, but catching BIG trophy sized walleye happens all season long.  Catching these big guys still takes some tactics to reel them in. If the plan is to drop a line, hook a fish and go home happy within a few minutes, the outcome could be disappointment.

Although springtime is the favorite for walleye fishing, anglers need to keep a few things in mind. Everything from actual weather conditions to location and bait can impact the outcome of a fishing trip. The trick is really gauging the action carefully before picking a spot to stay at.    Walleyes like water between 55 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and they move to follow it. In spring you’ll find them in the shallows of lakes and fall they will move into shallower water depending on light and wave activity.

Location Matters in The Spring
When the waters are thawing, but haven’t turned warm just yet, the shallows are generally the place to go. Anglers often quickly find a few key spots that work very well in the spring months.

It’s important to keep in mind that changing weather patterns can affect where walleye happen to be on a particular day or night. Many anglers swear by very shallow, night fishing to catch walleye during the cooler spring days but this is not always true. Slightly warmer, less windy days might find them a little further out though.

Some places to seek them out include:

  • Shallow points and mid-depths. While walleye are known to move into deeper waters when the temperatures heat up, early spring won’t generally find them there yet. Look along sunken islands and in mid- to rather shallow points by boat. If electronics do not turn up fish action, move on.
  • On-shore/wading. Many anglers find they are better off leaving the boat at home for springtime fishing, especially in the early days of spring. The fish are often found in very shallow waters that can be fished from shore or from piers.
  • Picking The Right Equipment. Having the right bait and equipment cannot be stressed enough when walleye is the catch of choice. These fish have changing preferences. What they enjoy in the hotter summer months is not necessarily what they’ll bite in the spring. Some of the suggested bait and tackle recommendations for springtime angling include:
  • Tackle. Rigs with live bait and live bait with slip bobbers are generally the preferred means for catching walleye during the spring months. Keep in mind if it’s early spring, walleye are getting ready to move to their spawning grounds, so they’re ready to eat.
  • Bait. Walleye tend to gravitate well toward minnows and night crawlers during the early spring months. In some areas, they might prefer noshing on insect larvae like during a mayfly hatch. For this reason, some anglers swear by using marabou jigs and other similar lures.

29Spring is typically the one of best times of year to hook a winning walleye, but that doesn’t mean the prospect will always be easy.

The temperatures this time of year, especially in early spring, can be brutal on anglers. Exercising a bit of patience, finding the right spots and paying heed to weather patterns can make a difference.

Remember, the landscape can change from day to day. On cooler days (or nights), they are often found very close to shore, but mid-level areas might hold them when the temperatures start to turn up just a bit.

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Tags: , , , ,

TIPS TO CATCHING SPRING WALLEYE

IMG_5625If hooking a big walleye is the plan then Wawang Lake is where you want to go whether it’s spring, summer or fall . While walleye are rather active and generally numbers are much easier to find during the spring, but catching BIG trophy sized walleye happens all season long.  Catching these big guys still takes some tactics to reel them in. If the plan is to drop a line, hook a fish and go home happy within a few minutes, the outcome could be disappointment.

Although springtime is the favorite for walleye fishing, anglers need to keep a few things in mind. Everything from actual weather conditions to location and bait can impact the outcome of a fishing trip. The trick is really gauging the action carefully before picking a spot to stay at.    Walleyes like water between 55 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and they move to follow it. In spring you’ll find them in the shallows of lakes and fall they will move into shallower water depending on light and wave activity.

Location Matters in The Spring

When the waters are thawing, but haven’t turned warm just yet, the shallows are generally the place to go. Anglers often quickly find a few key spots that work very well in the spring months.

It’s important to keep in mind that changing weather patterns can affect where walleye happen to be on a particular day or night. Many anglers swear by very shallow, night fishing to catch walleye during the cooler spring days but this is not always true. Slightly warmer, less windy days might find them a little further out though.

Some places to seek them out include:

  • Shallow points and mid-depths. While walleye are known to move into deeper waters when the temperatures heat up, early spring won’t generally find them there yet. Look along sunken islands and in mid- to rather shallow points by boat. If electronics do not turn up fish action, move on.
  • On-shore/wading. Many anglers find they are better off leaving the boat at home for springtime fishing, especially in the early days of spring. The fish are often found in very shallow waters that can be fished from shore or from piers.
  • Picking The Right Equipment. Having the right bait and equipment cannot be stressed enough when walleye is the catch of choice. These fish have changing preferences. What they enjoy in the hotter summer months is not necessarily what they’ll bite in the spring. Some of the suggested bait and tackle recommendations for springtime angling include:
  • Tackle. Rigs with live bait and live bait with slip bobbers are generally the preferred means for catching walleye during the spring months. Keep in mind if it’s early spring, walleye are getting ready to move to their spawning grounds, so they’re ready to eat.
  • Bait. Walleye tend to gravitate well toward minnows and night crawlers during the early spring months. In some areas, they might prefer noshing on insect larvae like during a mayfly hatch. For this reason, some anglers swear by using marabou jigs and other similar lures.

IMG_4396Spring is typically the one of best times of year to hook a winning walleye, but that doesn’t mean the prospect will always be easy.

The temperatures this time of year, especially in early spring, can be brutal on anglers. Exercising a bit of patience, finding the right spots and paying heed to weather patterns can make a difference.

Remember, the landscape can change from day to day. On cooler days (or nights), they are often found very close to shore, but mid-level areas might hold them when the temperatures start to turn up just a bit.

Follow our HUNTING BLOG

WEB   RATES     FISH    HUNT    CABINS    PHOTOS
TESTIMONIALS    BROCHURE    HUNT BOOKLET

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

Tags: , , , ,

Barometric Pressure

unnamed

Understanding barometer reading to fish by

The effect of barometric pressure on fishing feeding activity is one of the more interesting theories. In short,  the theory proposes that a dropping air pressure brings on feeding activity, rising pressure turns the fish off feeding, high pressure results in the fish moving to shallower water, and low pressure results in fish moving to deeper water. This article will provide an overview on barometric pressure, summarize various theories about why atmospheric pressure affects fishing activity, and then summarize in tabular fashion the generally accepted fish behaviours with various barometric patterns.

Barometric pressure is the measure of the weight of the atmosphere above us. A barometer is used to measure air pressure.  The earliest barometer consisted of a glass vacuum tube inserted into a container of mercury which was exposed to the pressure of the air.  Increased air pressure would force the mercury up the tube in a height proportunal to the pressure. The height was measured in inches (inHg) or in millibars (1 inch = 33.864 millibars). Although new types of barometers are now used, these measures are still in place. In general, 30 inHg or 1016 millibars is considered to be normal air pressure. In normal weather, 30.5 is considered extreme high, and 28.5 is considered extreme low. The measures are taken at sea level, a higher elevation has less atmosphere above it, so a correction factor against the normal measure is needed depending on altitude.

It is believed that the effect of barometric pressure is greater in shallow water than deep, probably due to the pressure of the weight of the water in deep water being so high, that the air pressure above it is not relatively significant.

There are many useful gadgets on the market that can help the fisherman today.

There are many useful gadgets on the market that can help the fisherman today.

The principal theory, is that the effect of changing pressure on the swim bladders of fish makes them uncomfortable or dis-oriented. In this theory, the fish will move to feel well, or they feel bloated or full. With a lowering barometer, it is believed these fish move into deep water seeking higher water pressure and ride out the low pressure around structures.  The theory suggests that just prior to change from a high to a low, fish will bite like crazy until the low hits and then stop. The difficulty with this theory, is that water is 900 times more dense than air, and generates signicantly more pressure than air. In fact,a 3 foot wave will produce a variation of pressure more significant than can be expected from a change in atmospheric pressure through a dramatic change, and the wave effect is happening every few seconds, rather than the hours or days that the atmospheric changes takes to occur.

imagesCA1344Y9Frankly, given that the pressure of water depth is such a significantly greater factor than the pressure of atmosphere, it seems likely that the weather conditions created by changes in barometric pressure, such as clouds, rain and wind, have more effect on fishing than the barometric pressure alone. So in the opinion of the author, barometric change is a good indicator of fishing change, but it’s not because of the pressure change by itself, as much as what other weather conditions are likely to occur because of the pressure change.
The following table attempts to summarize the barometric pressure, and observations on fish activity and fishing techniques.

Pressure Trend Typical Weather Fish Behaviour Suggested Fishing Tactics
High Clear skies Fish seek cover, look for logs, weeds in shallows. If water too warm, will stop biting. Fish structure close to surface, with shallow crankbaits, poppers, etc..
Rising Clearing or improving Fish start to move out of deeper water.  After a day or so, go to normal feeding. Fish with brighter lures and near cover, moving from deeper water to shallower water.
Normal and stable Fair Normal activity. Experiment with your favorite baits and lures.
Falling            Degrading Most active feeding. Range of different methods. Surface and shallow running lures may work well.
Slightly lower Usually cloudy Fish seek deeper water, with water temp maybe also slowing them down. May need to settle before feeding again. Use deep running lures at a moderate speed.
Low Rainy and stormy Fish move to deeper structures, may not feed. Fish deep structures, vary your methods.

Of course, the longer a period of high feeding activity, the more likely the fish are to stop feeding and the longer the period of inactivity, the more likely the fish are to start feeding.

100_0368

Draw your own conclusions on the effect of a changing barometric pressure on fishing activity. Whether pressure changes by themselves cause feeding changes may be in question, but the patterns seem to be there regardless.

‘There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a
serenity of the mind’

 

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Posted by on March 24, 2016 in Barometer, Fishing, Fishing TIPS, weather

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Walleye Lures and Baits

To get a fish to bite, you need to know how, where, whe­n, and what it eats.

1 Dave

 

Walleye are most active in morning and evening. They feed on small yellow perch, small northern pike, lake herring, other small bait fish and you can often find them around schools of these smaller fish. They eat a lot, they’re aggressive, and they’re not picky, which is good news for you. Because walleye eat by sucking in water around their prey, you’ll probably want to try smaller bait.

Look for walleye around submerged rocks, weedy flats, bars or other underwater barriers in the lakes.  Wawang Lake is known for all these types of great structure.

Many predators like such obstructio­ns, which help them ambush their food. Walleye locate their prey by sight, which means you’re not likely to find them in sunny waters; they retreat coyly to the shadows or the darker depths, often in groups. walleye’s strong vision also means you’ll have better luck with brightly colored lures, and you might even want to experiment with different colors.

­In the case of walleye, to seek out their location, you’ll also need to consider the time of year. Walleye like water between 55 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and they move to follow it. In spring and fall, you’ll find them in the shallows of lakes. In summer, they’ll be a bit deeper — though you’re not likely to find them in very deep waters (more than 50 feet).

Now that you know those basics, let’s find out how you can choose the right baits and lures.

Types of Walleye Fishing Lures

Nature-Jigs-1-WhiteLures are designed to mimic a fish’s natural prey, so think about­ walleye’s eating patterns and food. Lures that move quickly will attract these aggressive hunters. Additionally, lures should be similar in size to the smaller prey fish.

If you’re fishing with a jig head, choose the jig head based on water depth — the deeper the water, the heavier the head. For deeper walleye fishing, you’ll want a jig head of about ½ ounce. In shallower waters, you can go as light as a 1/8-ounce jig head. If conditions are rough or windy, a heavier jig can help.

26.5

Depending on the time of year, you may want something that sticks close to the bottom, like a small but heavy jig (with a lead head) or a crank bait.   If you go with a crank bait, again, choose one that mimics walleye’s natural prey — narrow, and between three and five inches long.

In various fishing conditions, you might want to try:

  • High-action lures:  designed to go deep (especially in warmer months)
  • Crank baits:  such as shad raps, jointed shad raps, or glass shad raps (with built-in rattles)
  • A balsa lure: such as a rapala
  • Live bait jigs: (for casting or trolling at the beginning of the fall season)
  • A #3 or #4 spinner
  • Trolling crank baits with more subtle action (better for the colder months

Finally, you can key your color choice to the sort of water you’ll be fishing. Use brighter colors for weedy or muddy waters.

Obviously, your bait depends on your choice of lure, as well as the fishing conditions. Read on.

Types of Walleye Fishing Baits

182Remember that walleye’s behavior and location chan­ges seasonally — so, the b­ait that worked so well at the beginning of September might not be the best one for May. Come prepared to try a few different kinds of baits, and remember that every angler works by trial and error.

When the weather is cold, you may find the best results with live bait. In cold water, walleye are sluggish. The movement of live bait will likely be most effective at stimulating them to bite. Walleye are more aggressive in warmer weather, and that can sometimes let you get away with plastic bait, especially plastic worms.   But many anglers swear by minnows year-round.

If you’re using a live bait jig, try minnows, worms, leeches or red tail chub. With a spinner, try a piece of worm.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One approach you may want to explore is coordinating your bait fish to whatever is schooling in the water. If you see a school of perch, for example, walleye are probably feeding close by, so use a perch colored lure tipped with live bait. Then let your jig drop a few feet at a time, the better to imitate the movement of the bait fish.   Obviously, this requires a bit more observation, flexibility and patience on your part. But isn’t that why you go fishing in the first place?

WEATHER TIP
Try to time your walleye fishing expedition so that it’s not coming right after a particularly cold snap. You can often have good luck during the turnover — the time when the weather is getting colder — because walleye follow their food into shallower waters, and often into less protected areas. But a particularly cold snap changes a lake’s temperature patterns so dramatically that it tends to put walleye into hiding until they’ve adjusted. Gradual changes are likely to offer better fishing

How To Cook Walleye
Now that you know how walleye eat, it’s time to learn how you can eat walleye. Walleye makes for a delicious meal, and depending on the preparation, it can be quite healthful as well. Try grilling walleye with fruit chutney, horseradish or pesto for a low-fat entrée. You can also bake, broil, fry, smoke or blacken walleye. Walleye is flavorful on its own, so you don’t need to do anything elaborate or complicated. 

Follow our HUNTING BLOG

WEB   RATES     FISH    HUNT    CABINS    PHOTOS
TESTIMONIALS    BROCHURE    HUNT BOOKLET

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Barometric Pressure

The effect of barometric pressure on fishing feeding activity is one of the more interesting theories. In short,  the theory proposes that a dropping air pressure brings on feeding activity, rising pressure turns the fish off feeding, high pressure results in the fish moving to shallower water, and low pressure results in fish moving to deeper water. This article will provide an overview on barometric pressure, summarize various theories about why atmospheric pressure affects fishing activity, and then summarize in tabular fashion the generally accepted fish behaviours with various barometric patterns.

imagesCAEY3648Barometric pressure is the measure of the weight of the atmosphere above us. A barometer is used to measure air pressure.  The earliest barometer consisted of a glass vacuum tube inserted into a container of mercury which was exposed to the pressure of the air.  Increased air pressure would force the mercury up the tube in a height proportunal to the pressure. The height was measured in inches (inHg) or in millibars (1 inch = 33.864 millibars). Although new types of barometers are now used, these measures are still in place. In general, 30 inHg or 1016 millibars is considered to be normal air pressure. In normal weather, 30.5 is considered extreme high, and 28.5 is considered extreme low. The measures are taken at sea level, a higher elevation has less atmosphere above it, so a correction factor against the normal measure is needed depending on altitude.
It is believed that the effect of barometric pressure is greater in shallow water than deep, probably due to the pressure of the weight of the water in deep water being so high, that the air pressure above it is not relatively significant.
The principal theory, is that the effect of changing pressure on the swim bladders of fish makes them uncomfortable or dis-oriented. In this theory, the fish will move to feel well, or they feel bloated or full. With a lowering barometer, it is believed these fish move into deep water seeking higher water pressure and ride out the low pressure around structures.  The theory suggests that just prior to change from a high to a low, fish will bite like crazy until the low hits and then stop. The difficulty with this theory, is that water is 900 times more dense than air, and generates signicantly more pressure than air. In fact,a 3 foot wave will produce a variation of pressure more significant than can be expected from a change in atmospheric pressure through a dramatic change, and the wave effect is happening every few seconds, rather than the hours or days that the atmospheric changes takes to occur.

sidebar_1
Frankly, given that the pressure of water depth is such a significantly greater factor than the pressure of atmosphere, it seems likely that the weather conditions created by changes in barometric pressure, such as clouds, rain and wind, have more effect on fishing than the barometric pressure alone. So in the opinion of the author, barometric change is a good indicator of fishing change, but it’s not because of the pressure change by itself, as much as what other weather conditions are likely to occur because of the pressure change.
The following table attempts to summarize the barometric pressure, and observations on fish activity and fishing techniques.

imagesCAWD0X22

Pressure Trend Typical Weather Fish Behaviour Suggested Fishing Tactics
High Clear skies Fish seek cover, look for logs, weeds in shallows. If water too warm, will stop biting.  Fish structure close to surface, with shallow crankbaits, poppers, etc..
Rising Clearing or improving Fish start to move out of deeper water.  After a day or so, go to normal feeding. Fish with brighter lures and near cover, moving from deeper water to shallower water.
Normal and stable Fair Normal activity. Experiment with your favorite baits and lures.
Falling Degrading Most active feeding. Range of different methods. Surface and shallow running lures may work well.
Slightly lower Usually cloudy Fish seek deeper water, with water temp maybe also slowing them down. May need to settle before feeding again. Use deep running lures at a moderate speed.
Low Rainy and stormy Fish move to deeper structures, may not feed. Fish deep structures, vary your methods.

Of course, the longer a period of high feeding activity, the more likely the fish are to stop feeding. And the longer the period of inactivity, the more likely the fish are to start feeding.
Draw your own conclusions on the effect of a changing barometric pressure on fishing activity. Whether pressure changes by themselves cause feeding changes may be in question, but the patterns seem to be there regardless.

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Walleye & Weather + VIDEO

An easy-to-understand article about barometric pressure and its impact on your fishing

Barometric pressure is just the weight of the air. It constantly pushes down on everything, like a big hand. It presses down on you, the earth and the surface of the water. Stormy weather results from low pressure, when the hand of the atmosphere pushes down with less strength. On the opposite end of the spectrum is clear blue skies come from high pressure or a heavy hand.

Most people use a barometer simply to help them guess as to whether they should take an umbrella with them. But, barometric pressure readings can also predict whether fish are likely to be biting, or if they will soon be biting or, perhaps, if it’s best to stay home.

barometerBarometric pressure- the weight of the air- decreases as a storm approaches.  It’s called low pressure. To understand how it works, imagine the palm of that giant hand as it presses on the water’s  surface. Its touch is lighter. The water isn’t as compressed as it was, and  fish can move more easily through it. The mood of many fish often changes to what we might call a more ‘active’ mood. They move around more freely and feed.

A storm also brings clouds and wave-creating wind, reducing sunlight penetration. Active fish can move to shallower water. In the case of walleyes, they often rise in the water column. The sonar screen shows them moving up off the bottom. Or, they just move shallower on shoreline-connected and mid-lake structures. Some believe that the absolute best fishing periods often occur when barometric pressure reaches its lowest point, just before the front arrives.

“The old saying, that fish bite best right before the storm,” is true.   The best time to head to the lake is when the forecast calls for storms moving into the area. The picture changes when the storm is over. Barometric pressure starts to rise again. The giant hand presses down harder, and the water becomes more compact. High pressure also brings clear, blue skies, and light penetration is often intense for the next several days. Fish feel the increased pressure and become less active. They move tight to cover or deeper, where the sun isn’t so bright. Their mood is lethargic.

With underwater cameras, you can watch fish come up to a bait and not bite it.   People don’t understand that, but when air pressure is high, fish become less aggressive. They just come up and look. They may eventually take it, but you have to coax them a little harder.

The effect of the pressure change is most pronounced on the first day after the storm passes.  The time of year must also be considered.     The impact of a change in barometric pressure is more severe in winter.   For one reason, the swing between high and low pressure is more drastic during the cold months.   For another, the same high pressure is affecting less water volume when part of it is locked up as ice.

dsc00691Fish like northern pike may be the least susceptible to changes in barometric pressure; they seem to be aggressive no matter what.     But, the perch family, including walleye, are the most impacted by the changes

A barometer isn’t needed to know what’s happening with air pressure.     Read the wind instead.    Anyone can play amateur weather forecaster, before the (storm) front, wind is out of the south. When it switches to west-northwest, pressure begins to rise.”

The old saying, “Wind from the east, fish bite the least,”     has a basis in fact.  Wind comes from the east the longer high pressure is in place,  and by then, high pressure has taken a real toll on the fish.

logTest yourself.  Make your own fishing predictions for a year by looking up the barometric pressure on weather websites. Then, keep a log and see how often you’re right.

Even when conditions are less than ideal, the barometer can help put more fish in the boat if you’re willing to analyze the effect air pressure is having at that moment.

When you get out on a body of water, people do what they normally have done, they’ll head over and stay in a comfort zone.  What they haven’t done is check the weather. If you don’t understand what the weather is doing, you’re already behind the eight ball on learning what the fish are going to want that day.       Storm coming?    Then low pressure is on its way, and faster, aggressive tactics may be best.   For walleyes, trolling or casting crank baits at  shallow structures may be the keys.  Look for schools cruising up off the bottom. Note the changes in depth as time passes.

When fish are aggressive, you can drop anything down there.   Using live bait can be very productive when the barometer points to the aggressive end of the scale. When the barometer is moving downward use bottom-bouncers and Red Devil spinners and if you must slow down, use Lindy rigs.

Slow down even more as the grip of high pressure takes hold. Jigs are one tool of choice at this time.  Jig a live bait on a rod to attract walleyes and use a dead-stick to get the bites. The approach works either in open water or through the ice. Because walleye and other fish hold tight to cover, slip bobbers are another favorite.

The lesson?   You can’t do anything about the weather. But, you can watch the barometer and predict where fish will be, how they’ll behave and what tactics to use. Weather, if you understand it, can help you choose where and how to fish.

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The Sudden Storm

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On July 4, Doug Fehler, 56, was fishing with his wife and grandkids when a huge thunderstorm swamped his boat. As told to Kristyn Brady.

The boys, Carter, 9, and Charlie, who’s just 5, were casting for perch, while Kristye and I put out jug lines for catfish on Oklahoma’s Broken Bow Lake. We had made the trip up from Texas for a Fourth of July getaway. We’d been fishing for maybe 30 minutes when the sky rumbled. I looked around and saw a huge thunderhead, followed by a lightning flash. It had been a scorcher of an afternoon with a few scattered clouds, and the marina parking lot was packed less than an hour earlier when we launched my 15-foot bass boat, a restored 1980 Caddo, toward a series of small islands. But with the lightning, I thought it best to get off the water.

As we motored toward the edge of the cove, the storm cloud had grown and the sky darkened. The wind picked up, but we’d had more shelter than I realized before our boat cleared the last island, where we were spit out into some of the roughest open water I’ve ever seen. The wind howled and waves slammed into the side of the boat, spilling inside. Without notice, a 7-foot swell crashed over our heads. I struggled to turn us into the oncoming wind and waves, soaked but holding on. Fortunately, we were already wearing our life vests.

Wave after wave crashed over the bow, but I didn’t even notice the water rushing past my feet because I was so focused on keeping the boat straight and running. I heard Kristye yell from the rear, where she was sitting with Charlie. I looked back to see him sitting on the floor with water up to his armpits. He didn’t seem to understand the danger, and just looked back at me expectantly. I could tell Carter was scared, but he was quiet and clung to the rail next to me.

I started to panic. It had been less than 10 minutes, but it felt like we’d been battling the waves much longer. The gas tanks were floating. The cooler had escaped over the side. The battery was under-water. That’s when the engine died.

Without the engine, we were being pushed toward a rocky bluff. If the boat had turned broadside to the waves, the next one would have capsized us. I was just about to jump in to try and pull us to shore when I heard a ski boat speeding toward us. They were able to drag our craft—the transom end completely underwater—and beach it nearby. I stayed with my boat, bailing out, while the driver of the ski boat took Kristye and the boys to the marina. As they left, Charlie was crying in Kristye’s arms, and I couldn’t help but worry that splitting up was the wrong decision. They got some bumps and bruises on the rough ride back, but we were reunited an hour later on the dock, where we all shed a few tears.

My boat’s tri-hull design was not built for those conditions, but I knew that. I would never purposely steer into waves that size. We were blindsided. Carter still doesn’t like to talk about that afternoon, and he hasn’t been on a boat since. I’m hoping that will pass. The whole thing has kept me awake a few nights. I go over the experience in my head, thinking what was at stake. It still gives me chill-bumps.

Survival Analysis

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Because one cannot fault Fehler’s actions once his boat was caught in heavy water—he made sure everyone was wearing a PFD, kept the bow pointed into the waves, and navigated toward safe harbor—the only question of right and wrong here concerns the decision to cross open water. The family probably could have weathered the storm in relative safety among the islands, and Fehler’s decision to leave is one I am sure he would like to have back.

This situation reminds me of an antelope hunting trip I made with my brother on Montana’s Fort Peck Reservoir, where we found ourselves separated from the dock by a mile-wide channel. Like Fehler, we didn’t have a boat seaworthy enough to meet the conditions once the storm broke. Unlike him, we were able to see how far conditions had deteriorated, so the decision to shelter on a spit of land was a no-brainer. We ended up being trapped by weather there for three days.

The survival lesson here is not so much to be prepared to brave the devil water, but to be prepared to stay, which makes a safe decision much easier. Always check the weather forecast ahead of time, and carry a radio, cellphone, distress flags, and signal flares, as well as a survival bag. Do not forget extra dry clothing, and make sure the book in your dry bag is a long one.

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Barometric Pressure

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Understanding barometer reading to fish by

The effect of barometric pressure on fishing feeding activity is one of the more interesting theories. In short,  the theory proposes that a dropping air pressure brings on feeding activity, rising pressure turns the fish off feeding, high pressure results in the fish moving to shallower water, and low pressure results in fish moving to deeper water. This article will provide an overview on barometric pressure, summarize various theories about why atmospheric pressure affects fishing activity, and then summarize in tabular fashion the generally accepted fish behaviours with various barometric patterns.

Barometric pressure is the measure of the weight of the atmosphere above us. A barometer is used to measure air pressure.  The earliest barometer consisted of a glass vacuum tube inserted into a container of mercury which was exposed to the pressure of the air.  Increased air pressure would force the mercury up the tube in a height proportunal to the pressure. The height was measured in inches (inHg) or in millibars (1 inch = 33.864 millibars). Although new types of barometers are now used, these measures are still in place. In general, 30 inHg or 1016 millibars is considered to be normal air pressure. In normal weather, 30.5 is considered extreme high, and 28.5 is considered extreme low. The measures are taken at sea level, a higher elevation has less atmosphere above it, so a correction factor against the normal measure is needed depending on altitude.

It is believed that the effect of barometric pressure is greater in shallow water than deep, probably due to the pressure of the weight of the water in deep water being so high, that the air pressure above it is not relatively significant.

There are many useful gadgets on the market that can help the fisherman today.

There are many useful gadgets on the market that can help the fisherman today.

The principal theory, is that the effect of changing pressure on the swim bladders of fish makes them uncomfortable or dis-oriented. In this theory, the fish will move to feel well, or they feel bloated or full. With a lowering barometer, it is believed these fish move into deep water seeking higher water pressure and ride out the low pressure around structures.  The theory suggests that just prior to change from a high to a low, fish will bite like crazy until the low hits and then stop. The difficulty with this theory, is that water is 900 times more dense than air, and generates signicantly more pressure than air. In fact,a 3 foot wave will produce a variation of pressure more significant than can be expected from a change in atmospheric pressure through a dramatic change, and the wave effect is happening every few seconds, rather than the hours or days that the atmospheric changes takes to occur.

imagesCA1344Y9Frankly, given that the pressure of water depth is such a significantly greater factor than the pressure of atmosphere, it seems likely that the weather conditions created by changes in barometric pressure, such as clouds, rain and wind, have more effect on fishing than the barometric pressure alone. So in the opinion of the author, barometric change is a good indicator of fishing change, but it’s not because of the pressure change by itself, as much as what other weather conditions are likely to occur because of the pressure change.
The following table attempts to summarize the barometric pressure, and observations on fish activity and fishing techniques.

Pressure Trend Typical Weather Fish Behaviour Suggested Fishing Tactics
High Clear skies Fish seek cover, look for logs, weeds in shallows. If water too warm, will stop biting. Fish structure close to surface, with shallow crankbaits, poppers, etc..
Rising Clearing or improving Fish start to move out of deeper water.  After a day or so, go to normal feeding. Fish with brighter lures and near cover, moving from deeper water to shallower water.
Normal and stable Fair Normal activity. Experiment with your favorite baits and lures.
Falling            Degrading Most active feeding. Range of different methods. Surface and shallow running lures may work well.
Slightly lower Usually cloudy Fish seek deeper water, with water temp maybe also slowing them down. May need to settle before feeding again. Use deep running lures at a moderate speed.
Low Rainy and stormy Fish move to deeper structures, may not feed. Fish deep structures, vary your methods.

Of course, the longer a period of high feeding activity, the more likely the fish are to stop feeding and the longer the period of inactivity, the more likely the fish are to start feeding.

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Draw your own conclusions on the effect of a changing barometric pressure on fishing activity. Whether pressure changes by themselves cause feeding changes may be in question, but the patterns seem to be there regardless.

‘There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a
serenity of the mind’

 

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Posted by on August 19, 2015 in Barometer, Fishing, Fishing TIPS, weather

 

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