If you spend any time chasing fish you are undoubtedly aware of the fact that the weather has an affect on fishing. In this article I will take one aspect of the weather, cold fronts, and outline some of the important ways that cold fronts affect fishing. If you add this information to your fishing “data bank” it can be used to help you catch more fish by being on the water when the fish you are attempting to catch are the most active.
So, how is it that knowing about cold fronts and the ways that cold fronts affect fishing going to help you catch more fish? Because by understanding the way that cold fronts affect fishing, you will be able to plan your fishing trips in such a way that you are on the water fishing when the weather is in your favor, rather than just going fishing when it “seems” like it’s a good day.
Most anglers plan their fishing trips or go fishing whenever they feel like it, rather than paying attention to things like the weather and particularly cold fronts when they think about going fishing. This is a big mistake because the weather has an incredible impact on fish behavior, and thus fishing. The bottom line is that cold fronts and fishing need to be understood by anyone who wants to know how to catch fish consistently.
The term ‘cold front’ is an often misused term because a cold front is a warm – cold air boundary with colder air replacing warmer air. When this happens it creates pressure changes in the air. On a weather map, cold fronts are denoted by an “H” or high pressure system. Many times after a cold front (or high pressure) system passes you will notice clear skies. The affect that a cold front has on fishing usually last two days after the front passes through your fishing area. As a cold front passes, the temperatures and humidity will fall and air pressures will begin to rise, and rising air pressures are not good for fishing. The passing of a cold front also means that you will see some inclement weather, before the clear skies.
So, how do cold fronts affect fishing? In one word, negatively. Many anglers claim that fish get “lock jaw” immediately following the passing of a cold front. This information is great to know as a fisherman, because when a cold front, or high pressure system, passes through your favorite or intended fishing area, for the one to two days surrounding the passing of the front you might as well not go fishing. At least not if you want to have a day filled with catching fish.