Knowing how weather conditions affect bass fishing is a key part of the puzzle in determining what to use. Bass typically will change their behavior depending on the conditions that are present. Plus, the weather can also change the appearance of your bait under water–wind and cloudy skies are both factors when choosing good bait. Knowing how to alter your approach with various weather conditions is essential to help you start “Kraken” more bass! Here is some information to keep in mind to help you decide “weather” or not your baits will get those bass to bite.
How Weather Conditions Affect Bass Fishing
When you are out fishing, the weather is never one way or another. One of the blessings of being outside is that your environment is constantly in motion, especially the weather. You may find yourself experiencing several of these same conditions all at one time. It could be windy with bright skies or cloud cover, or it may be cloudy and flat calm. Use this little outline as a formula to help you determine the right components for the conditions you are fishing in.
Wind can be a real pain to deal with as a fisherman. It makes keeping your boat and your casts on target extremely difficult. When weather is windy, opt for baits you can keep good contact with to detect if you are getting bites or not. Moving baits such as crankbaits and spinner baits tend to really shine in windy conditions. The wind breaks up the surface of the water, casting shadows on your baits. Even in clear water with windy conditions, bladed baits and moving baits are a great choice.
Soft plastics are always effective at catching bass, but can be extremely hard to fish effectively in the wind. A solid technique for your soft plastics when the wind is howling is a heavy weighted Carolina Rig. You can get away with using a heavier weight than normal on a Carolina Rig. The heavier weights are super helpful so you can maintain contact with the bottom. Heavy weights of 1/2 oz. or bigger are key for fishing soft plastics in the wind, helping you detect bites and stay in front of the fish.
Cloud Cover Conditions
Cloud cover is awesome when bass fishing! For whatever reason, the bass feel more comfortable when their water isn’t so bright. They feel more camouflaged and tend to chomp better. In dark, overcast conditions, oftentimes switching colors can make a big difference for getting bites. Use more contrasting colors and flash with cloudy skies so the bass can come over to smack your baits down. Using spinnerbaits and soft plastics in bright colors–like white and chartreuse–or dark contrasting colors–like black and blue–are great with dark skies. You also might want to pull out your baits with bright red or silver gold flakes in them during these conditions too. Flashing blades on an underspin or chatterbait are also a good choice to get bites in cloudy conditions.
Sunny & Bright Conditions
Bright, sunny skies light up your baits, especially in clear water. When the climate is bright and clear, you want to go with natural colors and presentations. Concentrate on imitating exactly what the bass are feeding. For example, if bass are feeding on crawfish, use a natural green pumpkin or brown colored soft plastic. Use swim jigs, swim baits, or other natural-style colors like bluegill. The key to bright skies is to keep it natural. Plus, look for the bass to be holding in shade; they don’t really enjoy the sun in their eyes.
The type of fishing line you use can be can be a big deal in bright sunny days. Try downsizing to a smaller diameter line and use flourocarbon instead of braided line to help get you a few more bites. Sometimes those bright, sunny, nice days, can be really tough fishing if you don’t know how to alter your approach. Hopefully, these thoughts will help you out on the water.
Weather Fronts – How Cold Fronts Coming or Going Can Alter Your Approach
Storms or cold fronts coming in or going out can play a big part on what you should use when bass fishing. What happens is when a storm starts coming in is the barometric pressure drops. This is a trigger to the bass to feed more. Bass feel less water pressure when the barometer drops and moving around for them doesn’t take as much energy. After a front or storm leaves, the barometric pressure climbs back up and the bass feel it. They tend to slow down, not acting as aggressive after a major swing.
When a storm is coming, take advantage of the feeding flurry. Use moving baits to cover a lot of water to get as many bites as possible. Crankbaits, Spinnerbaits, and Swimming Jigs are all good options that move. These types of baits can really get hammered when the cold fronts and storms are moving in. After the front leaves and things become still, use Texas rigged soft plastics or drop shot rigs. Keeping things slow and subtle in front of the bass with soft plastics can be your best bet for getting bites after a front or storm has come through.
Hopefully, these nuggets of info, offering tips of how to alter your approach in weather conditions, can help you know what to use when bass fishing. This final post of how weather conditions affect bass fishing along with the previous four should help to answer that age old question, “What should I use?” Thanks to all of you who submitted questions. I’ve got more posts to come, so make sure to subscribe to the blog to elevate your bass fishing game this season.