Barometric Pressure Effects On Fishing

What impact does the change in barometric pressure have on fish?

My Grandma’s joints hurt and my wife tends to get a migraine before big weather changes, so there has to be something to the barometric pressure change that impacts humans.  With this philosophy, one would think that maybe a fish could be impacted by similar changes.

There’s a debate and many theories on whether a storm or significant weather change helps or hinders the bite and whether the fishing is better before, during or after a storm. One thing is certain, the fish isn’t going to get any wetter when it rains.

Most fish have a swim bladder that helps them maintain a certain amount of buoyancy in the water so they don’t have to work to stay off the bottom.  With changes in barometric pressure there is the possibility of positive and negative effects on a fish.  When the barometric pressure changes, the fish may adjust their swim bladder to maintain their buoyancy which will change the amount of pressure on their internal organs.   The fish may have either have more space or less space in their body cavity which may bring changes in behavior.  With less pressure on their gut, they may feel hungry and eat like crazy.  Like you before Thanksgiving dinner.  With added pressure, the fish may change their feeding patterns for a short period of time because they don’t feel normal. Like you after Thanksgiving dinner when you contemplate when you’re going to eat some of Grandma’s good ole’ Pumpkin Pie.  You know you want it and you know how good it is, but you just don’t feel you can eat it just yet.

I found several websites on this topic and listed them below.  I found 3 that seemed to support that there is an impact, and found 3 that lead you to believe there is no to little impact.  Take a read and see what you think.  I think there has to be something to it, but hard to tell how much the impact is.

Articles that state there is a impact to fish behavior:

Articles that state there is little to no impact to fish behavior:

Happy Fishing!


Published by nwatrout

Fly Fishing Guide on the White River below Beaver Lake Dam, also known as Beaver Tailwaters. Located 10 miles west of Eureka Springs, AR or 30 miles east of Rogers, AR and Bentonville, AR off Hwy 62.

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