High-dollar electronics help you find bass but if you want to know how aggressive or passive the fish are, just take a glance at the sky. Since fishing weather plays a key role in the daily activities of both man and fish, watching the sky while you’re on the water will make you more adept at developing patterns. Knowing which lures to choose and how to present them under cloudy skies or on sunny, bluebird days increases your chances of consistently catching bass.
Fishing guides and professional tournament anglers encounter a wide variety of weather throughout the year but still have to catch fish for their livelihood. Over the years these professional anglers have learned weather affects the moods of bass, so sky watching helps them determine how to pattern bass every day.
Let’s look at how to determine techniques for catching bass from spring through fall based on weather observations.
Early Spring Fishing Weather Tactics
On bright, sunny days bass in clear water lakes move out deeper and suspend off ledges, points or in standing timber. Another spot to look for bass in clear water lakes are the first channel swings in the backs of creeks where the water warms quicker.
Bluebird skies signal high pressure has settled in your area causing bass to suspend or hug the bottom in the clear water. Small finesse lures such as plastic grubs, tube jigs, finesse worms and small jigs with plastic craws work best for bottom-hugging bass.
Bass in murky water remain shallow on sunny days, but the fish hold tight to cover such as crevices of large rocks or brush piles and are reluctant to come out of their hiding places. Pitching jigs or soft plastics or slow-rolling spinnerbaits through the cover are the best ways to trigger strikes from bass holding tight to the cover.
When the skies become cloudy, the fishing turns on in both clear and dirty water. Try fast-moving lures such as spinnerbaits and crankbaits in dirty water. The same lures will also work in clear water along with suspending stickbaits and swimming plastic grubs for suspended bass.
Hot Summer Fishing Weather Sky Watching
Even though the weather remains more stable during the summer, you should still watch the sky for changes to determine how to fish your favorite bass waters.
If the sky is clear in the morning, get on the water early because the fishing will get tough by mid-day. Timber-laden reservoirs are good summertime places to fish because the trees provide plenty of shade for bass to seek shelter from the sun and heat. Target standing timber in the middle of big creeks and key on the largest trees available where the fish could be suspended in the branches.
Early in the morning the fish will be near the surface, but as the sun climbs higher, the bass drop down deeper in the cover. Pitch a Texas-rigged 10-inch plastic worm with a 1/4- or 3/16-ounce bullet weight to the tree and let it fall slowly through the limbs to entice suspended bass into biting.
When skies turn cloudy, try a topwater chugger to draw bass suspended in the trees to the surface. If the wind increases and a storm threatens, move to main lakes trees and retrieve a spinnerbait or deep-diving crankbait on 20-pound test or heavier line to catch bass suspended in the tree tops.
Fickle Fall Fishing Weather
If your favorite bass fishery is a tidal river, current usually has more of an effect on bass in these waters, but fall weather still has some bearing on where river bass position in relation to cover. After a severe cold front passes through and bluebird skies prevail, fishing wood cover such as downed trees and piers is best.
Bass are usually the hardest to catch after the second sunny day of a cold front, so lures that can be banged into cover will produce the best results. Flip a 1/4- or 3/8-ounce jig and plastic chunk into the cover and bump it into the wood a couple of times and let it sit. A medium-diving crankbait banged into the wood will also trigger strikes.
By the third day of sunshine, you can target points or aquatic vegetation where the fish have moved into the shallows. Bass will be in a chasing mood then, so you can throw buzz baits, spinnerbaits, medium-diving crankbaits, topwaters and floating worms to these aggressive fish.
When the skies turn cloudy, topwater lures become prime choices to throw for tidal river bass. A couple of hours prior to or even during a storm, throw buzz baits, topwater poppers or floating worms to trick bass.
No matter which season or where you fish, taking an occasional glance at the sky will help you determine how to pattern bass at your favorite fishing spots.