The list of factors you need to consider when heading out for a day on the water is long and can be somewhat daunting to anglers trying to maximize the bite. Things like water temperature, clarity, and spawn stage get top billing (rightfully so), and understanding each is a great way to get started on the path to success. There are tons of weather fishing tips related to so many weather-related factors.
One of those factors that can often be overlooked is sun conditions. It’s a fact that bass act differently on sunny days than they do on overcast days, even when all other factors are the same.
Furthermore, the sun often changes throughout the course of the day – and oftentimes the bass change right along with it. Ever had the bite seemingly dry up when the sun comes out of the clouds? Or had a storm blow in and witness a period of furious bites?
Understanding how bass react under both overcast and sunny conditions will not only help you become a better angler, it will also help you make midday adjustments to get more and bigger bites when things change.
Here’s a quick guide to sunny vs overcast weather fishing tips:
Cloudy, rainy, or otherwise dreary conditions act as a security blanket for bass. Visibility decreases, bass feel more secure from predators, and they tend to roam much farther from cover. For that reason, it pays to turn up the trolling motor, pick up the power fishing technique of your choice, and start hunting for bites. Topwaters, spinnerbaits, lipless cranks, and swim jigs like The Strike King Hack Attack get top billing when the skies are dark, and because visibility is lowered, don’t be afraid to turn to brighter colors to maximize the pulling radius of your baits.
When the sun’s out, bright light penetrates the water column causing bass to retreat to the comfortable confines of shady cover. Bass have a natural instinct to hide from predators, and sunny skies amp up this instinct, making them less likely to chase. To adjust, focus your efforts on shady cover, and slow down to thoroughly and methodically fish each piece. Docks, laydowns, and matted vegetation are big keys, as they offer bass a shady spot to hide from the sun. Since they’re tight to cover, flipping, pitching, and finesse techniques using natural colors and live bait imitators like BioSpawn Vile Bug should also be your go-to presentations.
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