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The Best Barometric Pressure (For Ice Fishing)

Increase Your Odds By Knowing The Best barometric pressure For Ice Fishing

ice fishing lake

Ice fishing is generally a lot slower than normal fishing, but there are a few ways that you can use environmental factors to make it more productive.

One of the main environmental factors you can use is barometric pressure.

I didn’t really understand barometric pressure for the majority of my time as a fisherman, but since I’ve learned how it works, I’ve started to increase the number of catches I make on any given trip.

Today, we’ll go over how you can use barometric pressure to your advantage while ice fishing. Hopefully, it’ll help you speed up an otherwise slow and tedious experience.

What Is barometric pressure?

I don’t want to go too in-depth talking about this. But if you want to take a much closer look at how and why barometric pressure affects fishing, check out this article that I put together. It has a lot more information about the specifics of barometric pressure.

All you need to know right now is that it’s essentially the weight of the atmosphere pushing down on the planet. During storms or other weather changes, the barometric pressure increases or decreases. Even if you and I can’t personally feel the changes, they have pretty dramatic affects on fish.

Why barometric pressure Matters To Ice Fishermen

It may not sound like air pressure should mean a whole lot to fish or fishermen, but it actually does. Fish swim using a special organ that allows them to change their depth whenever they want, and it helps to keep them buoyant. This is why fish tend to float when they die. Their swim bladder empties.

When the barometric pressure changes, that gas-filled bladder is forced to inflate or deflate against the will of the fish. When the pressure is low, their bladder tends to expand, and it feels a lot like our version of an upset stomach.

They obviously can’t take Tums like we can. So they move to deeper water to let water pressure correct the problem.

That makes them harder to catch, and the discomfort makes them downright refuse to eat a lot of the time.

When the pressure is higher, fish don’t suffer from discomfort in their bladder, and it’s a lot easier for them to move around. So, they’re easier to catch.

How To Use barometric pressure To Your Advantage While Ice Fishing

For the most part, barometric pressure affects fish under the ice just like it does normally. However, it gets a little different when you’re talking about low-pressure situations.

When the barometric pressure is excessively low, it messes with the water that the fish are swimming in. The deeper waters that they’d usually run to aren’t as much of a relief when the lake is frozen over. So, they usually just float around right beneath the ice.

That doesn’t make for good fishing, though. The fish are extremely uncomfortable, and they’ll most likely stare at your bait with very little interest.

The Best barometric pressure For Ice Fishing

When you’re fishing in open water, you can still get decent bites when the barometric pressure is about 30.5-mmHg. When ice fishing, the sweet spot is just beneath that. The best time to go ice fishing is when is when the barometric pressure is about 30-mmHg.

If you go fishing when it’s higher, you can still catch fish, but it’ll be slower than what you’ll typically want it to be. If the pressure is really low, I suggest stowing your rod in your garage until it starts to edge its way back up.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to barometric pressure, ice fishing is nearly the same as open water fishing. The sweet spot is just a bit smaller than normal.

If you want to make sure each ice fishing trip you take is as productive as possible, you’ll want to buy a barometer or a watch that has one built in. That’ll allow you to check the atmospheric pressure whenever you want, and you’ll know just what to expect while you’re fishing.

More Ice Fishing Articles

1. The Best Hand Augers For Ice Fishing

2. The Best Minnow Bait Bucket For Ice Fishing

3. How To Keep Ice Fishing Holes From Freezing

4. How To Ice Fish: Ultimate Guide To Ice Fishing Basics For Beginners

Written by Don

When I'm not bass fishing or looking for steelhead in my home state of Oregon I can be found working on house projects dreaming of my next fishing adventure.

I started this website to share just some of the things I've learned along my fishing journey, and the many things I'm still learning. Enjoy!

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