How to Make a Barometer for Fishing

How to Make a Barometer for Fishing
Simple barometers based on water columns or sealed aneroid chambers are easily made but offer little beyond a general indication of low or high pressure. With daily observation, readings can show rising or falling pressure. Changes in temperature, water loss from liquid barometers or air leaks in homemade aneroid barometers also affect accuracy. Barometers only indicate a trend in weather or fish activity over the next 12 hours. NOAA weather band radio offers much more useful barometric pressure information.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Clear glass soda bottle with narrow neck
  • Clear drinking glass
  • Water
  • Blue food coloring
  • Shallow bowl
  • Permanent marker
Step 1
Match the empty soda bottle to a drinking glass by turning the bottle upside down and balancing it inside the glass. The ideal match supports the neck of the bottle just above the bottom of the glass. Water must flow freely in and out of the upturned bottle for the barometer to function.
Step 2
Separate the bottle and the drinking glass. Fill the drinking glass with water. Hold the glass of water over a sink and insert the upturned bottle. Displaced water should spill over the rim of the glass.
Step 3
Remove the bottle from the glass again. Add three drops of blue food coloring to the water remaining in the drinking glass. Replace the bottle upside down in the glass.
Step 4
Check the water level in the neck of the bottle. At the start, the level should rise slightly into the neck. Draw a horizontal mark on the outside of the water glass at this first height.
Step 5
Set the homemade barometer in a shallow bowl to catch any spillovers caused by falling barometer pressure.
Step 6
Mark daily changes with smaller marks to indicate stages above and below the starting pressure. Low pressure outside the device causes the water level in the bottle to drop. High pressure causes the water to rise inside the bottle.

Tips & Warnings

For a more accurate starting point, set up the barometer on a day when the NOAA Weather Service reading hovers around 30.
Falling pressure indicates possible storms and a brief period of good fishing before bad weather begins.
Very low pressure accompanies rain and wind, when fish seek cover in deep water.
Rising pressure brings better weather, with fish rising and beginning to feed.
High pressure indicates clear and bright skies, again driving fish to lower depths.

Article Written By James Young

James Young began writing in 1969 as a military journalist combat correspondent in Vietnam. Young's articles have been published in "Tai Chi Magazine," "Seattle Post-Intelligencer," Sonar 4 ezine, "Stars & Stripes" and "Fine Woodworking." He has worked as a foundryman, woodturner, electronics technician, herb farmer and woodcarver. Young graduated from North Seattle Community College with an associate degree in applied science and electronic technology.

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