How to Read a Barometer for Fishing

How to Read a Barometer for Fishing
Most anglers know that a variety of factors can determine whether the fish are biting or not. This erratic behavior in fish can sometimes be linked to the barometric pressure. Fish have air bladders that are constantly adjusted to compensate for the changes in barometric pressure. Using a barometer that measures the increase and decrease in barometric pressure can provide clues as to when fish might be more actively seeking food.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Barometer
Step 1
Position a barometer in an outdoor location that is protected from direct sunlight and excessive moisture, such as rain or water spray. Adjust the barometer as indicated by the manufacturer, if necessary, and allow the barometer to sit undisturbed.
Step 2
Read the barometer after a period of time. Using a baseline of 30 inHg as a "normal" reading, and determine if high or low pressure is building. Interpret a reading over 30 inHg to mean high pressure is building or present and a reading below 30 inHg to indicate low pressure.
Step 3
Select your favorite bait and method of presentation based on the water conditions and time of day, and fish as normal when the pressure is normal. Interpret a normal barometric pressure as one being at or near 30 inHg. Experiment with a variety of lures and baits, based on fish species and water conditions.
Step 4
Choose lures that are suitable for deep-water fishing when the pressure is high. Jigs and other similar baits that can be fished with a slow retrieve in deeper waters can prove effective on fish that are suspended in deep water when high pressure is present.
Step 5
Fish falling and slightly lower barometric pressures with shallow and top-water lures. Use a moderate-to-fast retrieve during these times. Shallow running crankbaits, spinner baits, in-line spinners and other similar minnow-imitating lures are often productive.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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