There is probably not a more used excuse for a bad day of fishing than the weather. The longer I fish, the more apparent it becomes to me that the most important factor in the day-to-day activities of a bass is the weather. Although there are many aspects of weather that can play a part in the life of a bass, there are few that seem to make a difference more often than others. There are a few factors I keep an eye on and the reasons why I feel they are important.
To me, sky conditions translate merely to whether it is sunny, cloudy or somewhere in between. This factor can change daily and even hourly. My general rule of thumb for its effect on bass is that under sunny, bright conditions bass will pull tighter to cover and under cloudy, darker conditions bass will roam more. For example, if I am fishing a row of docks on a sunny day, the fish will most likely be in the shadiest part of the dock. This is a perfect situation for pitching my Strike King Pro Model Jig into these areas. Whereas the next day if it is cloudy, those same fish will move to the outside edges of the dock, and I might throw a Strike King Spinnerbait around these docks to catch the fish.
Pressure is tough to monitor unless you pay attention to your local weather. Generally high pressure systems have a tendency to bring tough fishing, while low pressure systems usually lead to more active fish. When pressure drops, organisms become more buoyant and float off the bottom. This makes plankton more vulnerable and baitfish can go into a feeding frenzy. This can stimulate predators like bass to feed on the baitfish. When the pressure rises, the plankton is pushed back toward the bottom where it is less vulnerable to baitfish. Thus the baitfish who are full of plankton go into a less active state along with the predators. I implement these ideas into my strategies by targeting fish with bottom bouncing baits like jigs on high pressure days and cover the upper section of the water column on low pressure days with a spinnerbait or topwater.
This is one factor that can make it tough and even dangerous to be on the water, but can also make a huge difference in your catch. I have always felt that wind makes bass more active. Spinnerbaits on windy banks has always been one of my favorite techniques. I feel like the wind pushes the plankton toward the bank, which in turn brings in the baitfish and bass. It also breaks up the surface of the water making it harder for the bass to get a clear look at your bait. I go to heavier baits in the wind. They are simply easier to throw.
Although you may not always be able to count on the weatherman to predict your weather, you can be sure that the bass are tuned into what is happening. An entire book could be written on how different aspects of weather effect bass, and these factors often work in conjunction with each other. You can rest assured that these three factors have been important to my fishing, and that I keep a constant eye on the weather every fishing day as well as the days preceding.