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airborne_angler

Barometric pressure VS moon phase

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I have heard that depending on what the barometric pressure is that the fishing will be good. I have also heard that good fishing is based on the moon phase. So which is it and does it really matter?  I say just go fishing no matter what.

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I have to go fishing when I can get the chance, but I keep a barometer in my boat and a journal as well.  In about 10 years I should be able to answer your question ;).  The general consensus that I have heard is that fish will feed heavy right before a storm when the barometer is falling and I have had that experience several times myself.  My dad used to have a homemade barometer on the shelf in our boat house that consisted of a coke bottle half full of water turned upside down in a fruit jar half full of water.  The water in the bottle would go up and down as the barometer rose and fell.  He swore by it and he fished several times a week.  I just can't remember if the fish bit best when the water was high or low in the bottle.  It must not have been too important to me back then as I had girls, water skiing, and cars on the brain and fishing was somewhere lower down my priority list.  I do pay attention to the barometer and won't usually go fishing if it has just gone through the ceiling.  After it stabilizes for a couple of days I think the fishing gets better.  I'm sure there are folks on this site who can catch fish in those conditions, but not me.  

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While I don't deny the affects that barometric pressure and moon phase have on game activity; I try not to pay any attention to the them.  I don't pay attention to them because I want to arrive at the lake confident that I am going to catch fish.

For Instance:  If the conditions say the fish aren't supposed to be biting that day I might have low expectations.  Also the conditions can say that the fish should be biting but I may not be catching any.   Either situation can lower my confidence.  Some conditions that I look at instead of bar. pressure and moon phase are water clarity, temperature, seasonal pattern, & light penetration (sunny or cloudy).

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Guest ouachitabassangler

You won't find many pros ignoring barometric pressure. It isn't that high pressure shuts the bite off. It's a matter of positioning of bass and a change in mood. They just sink lower than they were before pressure rises, and the bite responses change sometimes from combination causes to only reaction bites, for instance. Hunger bites might fall off, but you should be able to pester a bass into biting. If you totally ignore such factors confidence can fade to despair if you fail to adjust to the conditions. Knowing bass should be rising and becoming more hunger-oriented in lowering pressure should have you appealing to hunger in the right feeding zone. If you remain unaware of rising pressure while still fishing shallow more or less like you fished the previous day it can be a disappointment. Even if bass are subject to hunger bites, they don't feed all day long, taking time to digest, so it's wise to capture feeding periods as well as turn to a reaction-type presentation much of the time. In rising pressure you will deal with reaction tempting a lot more.

Jim

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barometric pressure has very little effect, if at all, on fishing...its the changes that come with the pressure that change the way a person fishes.  Stop and think about water.  It is constantly exerting pressure on anything it surrounds, trying to "fill that space up" with itself.  The effect of atmospheric pressure is going to be very negligible compared to the water pressure the fish faces every second of every day.  Bass feel more pressure by moving up or down about 1 foot in the water than anything the weather will EVER produce.  

What can you gather from all that?  The actual barometric pressure reading has pretty much nothing at all to do with how fish are feeding or anything else...they really don't feel a thing.  What they do experience though is the weather that accompanies barometric pressure changes.  THAT is what changes the fishing.  Simply, don't believe all the BS about barometric pressure effecting swim bladders and yada yada yada..its nonsense.  A fish would have to move just a few inches to regulate even the most enormous change in the barometer.  Watch the weather, see when storms are coming and when they pass..that's what you're looking for.

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There are some interesting articles in various publications regarding barometric pressure.

So far the inforamtion presented paints a very interesting picture of what the guys beleive about baramoetric pressure and its affects on bass.

However, I look at many variables now, including water clarity; water temperature; sunny or overcast; time of day; and the tides if fishing a tidal river.

We all know that the fish feed when a storm is approaching (lower pressure) and go deep and look for shade when there is lots of blue sky and sunny weather (high pressure) and we fish accordingly.

As for the moon, I have friends that swear by moon phases. The full moon is the best time to fish accourding to these guys; no ifs, ands or buts.  

All I can suggest is that you check the various articles; fish under different conditions; and make up your own mind.

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A rise or fall in the barometric pressure has no effect on the mood of the fish unless it 's associated to a change in weather conditions, the moon phase affects in tidal systems, inland I have not seen any correlation between moonphase and the activity of the fish in my 33 years of fishing.

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Although I personally agree with Raul, you will find VERY strong opinions that both factors are key.

As a side note, I happen to have my best day of smallmouth fishing on January 8, 2005 with a rapidly RISING barometer. We had great water flow on the Tennesse River that day and as far as I'm concerned, current is the only thing that counts on a river.

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Certain species of fish are less affected by pressure changes.    Bass are ones that need to adjust.

With or with out a barometer change, we can all attest to what happen when a fish rises from the deep without a chance to adjust.  This holds true in salt water and applies to certain species in fresh water at certain times.

To make it simple without digging up my old posts,   When pressure is exerted on a bass, it expands the air bladder, the expanded air bladder puts pressure upon the stomach, which give the bass a full feeling.     This is more like an upset stomach.     A bass becomes lethargic

Weather and the barometer go hand in hand.    What do you see when the barometer drops before hand.    Wind and clouds, which both are ideal times to a bass fishermen.      Low light conditions caused by passing clouds have always been prime times or when the wind churns up the water, it creates current and positions plankton which postions bass.

The laws of science still applies to bass.    Gas laws and gravity.  

Moon phase plays no part on any of my inland resorvoirs pertaining to current.   Moon phases, if spring weather allows and temps hold, to judge when the first full wave spawners hit the shallows.  

I'll take a barometer/weather over moon phases anytime.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

Barometric pressure is directly measured by use of the fact liquids are compressed, using a simple barometer you can make at home, using a capped straw strapped to the inside of a water filled can. When air pressure rises, water in the straw will rise pushing against air in the straw. Air compresses too. It's all part of hydrolics. Simple physics. Why might pressure at the base of a dam increase or decrease when the pool level hasn't changed? It's measured by measuring the rise or fall of water in peizo wells in a dam. The well levels move more dramatically when the lake pool changes, accounting for a higher or shorter water column in the lake. If you have a lake with an outlet then maybe some of the effects of increased air pressure can be distributed, but it takes time for pressure changes to move through any body of water. Increased pressure comes in waves of wind packing into a specific geographic area in increments, with differences between sides or ends of a lake. But most lakes are effectively lacking an outlet, the water compressing. The weight of a column of water increases witrh depth on its own without added surface weight of air. But when you add pounds of air weight to an already heavy column of water the changes are most definitely detected by fish, negatively or positively more dramatically than humans are affected by mere air pressure changes at the bottom of a column of air that has weight. Air has weight. Water has weight. Air weight plus water weight equals heavier water at any particular depth. Water weight starts off weighing about 14.7 pounds per square inch. A small room you are in contains an average of 100 pounds of air, a cubic meter of air weighing 1.2 kilograms. Apply pressure to a coulmn of water, it will weigh more.

Bass have been observed reacting to a drop of pool levels while in shallow water with as little as a few millimeters of pool altitude change. One inch of pool drop is highly significant to fish, sensing a dropping pool as a threat in direct relation to the amount of drop. They have also been observed for many years reacting to sudden changes in air pressure, particularly to quick lowering of pressure with no signs of approaching weather changes. That should be common over most of America, low pressure simply being a mass of hot air that can be stagnant over a large area. Sometimes with the approach of upper cold air hot humid air rising into cold air can result in storms, what we call a change in weather. But there might be no cloud over a state with low pressure. Yet, bass react favoravbly to lowering pressure, storm or not. Without knowing what the pressure is most of us could only assume an approaching storm signals a drop in pressure, which it usually does. Not seeing a storm doesn't mean pressure is stable or rising. Not seeing any change in weather doesn't really mean much at all.

Jim

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Guest ouachitabassangler

As for moon phases, at least spawning peaks for various species of fish have been observed by biologists around a full moon. It might be nothing more than a bass' ability to see better in guarding a bed longer. Many are beginning to suspect other behavioral effects of the moon position and light levels on all animals, but more data needs to be collected. I fish a lot at night and have a much better bite with some moonlight, practically nothing on totally dark nights, with a bright full moon causing about the same bite scenario I'd find at high noon in the same spot. It might mostly just be a matter of inability of fish to see baits, their other senses not peaked enough to respond to lures. But then again, if proximity of the moon to a body of water can cause tides, why would there be a strong opinion the moon couldn't have an effect on animals which are mostly made of water?

Jim

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From my experience I can tell you that barometric pressure and moon phase does effect catfishin'. Pressure drop = Good catfishin'. Full moon = Good catfishin'

In my experiance Bass, Bream, Crappies and other fish don't seem to be affected. Go figure...

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