Once the cold front moves through in ponds and lakes, bites can slow down tremendously.
However, in rivers, the cold front will not have a huge impact on your fishing. The best time to fish is 12-24 hours before a low pressure front, then the bite tends to slow down.
Low pressure: fish move to shallows
High pressure: fish move to deeper water and feed less
What is the cold front and how does it affect fishing?
You will notice a drop in atmospheric pressure when cold front is coming with shifty winds, and cloudy skies.
The cold front is the transition zone where cold air mass replaces warmer air mass. The cold front is a term that most anglers dread hearing about because it makes fishing challenging.
Fishing after a cold front has hit can be a tough task. The changes in barometric pressure brought about by the cold front usually have an effect on the feeding of many fish species with many slowing their feeding once the cold front hits.
The reason why fish tend to slow down on their feeding when the cold front hits are because fish are cold-blooded, meaning they are usually active in warmer water and less active in colder water. During the cold front, fish will be less active and thus will generally need less food to survive. As a result, they are less likely to bite during the cold front.
Barometric pressure and how it affects ice fishing
Barometric pressure refers to how much air weight is at the ground level. If there is more air around, then more pressure will push down and vice versa, and the fish can sense this.
When the skies are clear, the pressure is high and when the skies are cloudy, then pressure is low. When pressure is high, air will push down the ice, resulting in more pressure exerted on water. Fish will also feel the pressure and react accordingly. For instance, when the barometric pressure is high, the increase in pressure will make fish uncomfortable and will move towards deeper water and become less active. On the other hand, when the barometric pressure is low, fish will feel less pressure in the air bladder, meaning they stay active and move to shallow waters.
Therefore, the best time to fish is when low pressure is in moving in, and then the weather worsens. This is the point when fish are feeding aggressively and will bite what is presented to them. It is important to note that the feeding frenzy will end abruptly when bad weather settles in fully. So, it is important to take advantage of the 12-24 hours window before bad weather settles in fully.
Barometric pressure usually has the largest impact on the fish feeding behavior when it is in the process of changing. A rapid change from low to high will result in decreased activity while a rapid change from high to low will result in increased activity.
What is the best weather for ice fishing?
The weather has a huge impact on ice fishing. Different weather condition comes with different sunlight levels. Fish tend to shy away from bright lights and tend to be more active in dimly lit conditions. Despite the fact that water is covered by ice, light usually still manages to reach the depth of water.
Bright sunny days will have fish moving to deeper waters and slowing things down. This means that caching fish during bright sunny days is quite difficult. The best weather for ice fishing is during cloudy days when light levels are subdued, making the fish active the whole day. The best time of the day to ice fish is in the early morning and after sunset. These times are ideal for ice fishing because of low light conditions which make fish very active.
How to get some fish in poor ice fishing conditions
Just because the weather is not ideal for ice fishing does not mean that you cannot get some fish in your bucket. You only need to change your fishing strategies and know the best techniques use to entice the fish to take a bite.
When fishing in poor ice fishing conditions, you need to have a fish finder or a flasher. Fish tend to move to different locations when weather condition changes and a flasher or a fish finder will help you find out where they have moved to.
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