How to catch more fish in any weather

Catch more fish by understanding how air pressure affects fish
Catch more fish by understanding air pressure (Image credit: Angler's Mail)

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Air pressure

Air pressure can play a big part in your choice of baits when fishing for pike, so it could be worth investing in a barometer, especially as many other species are also affected.

When the pressure is high or rising, pike are likely to be far more active and livebaits can work well. If the air pressure is low, deadbaits are well worth a go.


Barbel can be very sensitive to water temperature changes, and it is the amount of change that is important rather than the actual temperature.

When the mercury is rising, barbel should be feeding, but any rapid fall can be the kiss of death. A rise from 42 to 44 degrees Fahrenheit would often be better than a fall from, say, 52 to 48.


One of the best triggers for carp to feed is a brisk south-westerly wind, which often coincides with warmer weather.

It can really get them moving and is worth fishing on the end of, unlike colder winds.

One of the more subtle effects of a strong wind is that it can encourage fish to leave the sanctuary of reedbeds, as they are unsettled by constantly being nudged by the swaying stems, so they can often be tempted to take a bait presented in open water close to the edge of the reedbed.


Light levels can affect some species far more than others, and probably none more so than perch.

It is a fairly common occurrence to sit in a swim all day that is seemingly devoid of fish and then to hook one after another as the light starts to go at dusk.

So make sure that you are able to fit an isotope to your float or bobbin to make the most of this feeding spell into darkness.

On cloudy days, however, it can be possible to catch them all day.

Fishing by moonlight

(Image credit: Angler's Mail)


Whether or not you believe in moon phases affecting fishing, it is certainly noticeable that a full moon is usually bad. This is most evident on clearer nights, when it can be nearly as bright as during the day.


When it’s freezing cold and lakes are frozen, many anglers decide to stay at home. But if you have a river near you with grayling in they can provide some fantastic sport no matter what the conditions, as long as the river isn’t coloured.

Dry spell

Pellets are a great barbel bait, but there are times when they are totally outfished by the humble maggot, especially during the day if the river is clear because of a dry spell.


Sudden heavy rain can have a number of effects on fishing. The rain produced in spring is often much cooler than the water it falls into, and this cooling effect can reduce feeding activity. Fish are also very sensitive to vibration, and while they will habituate to the drumming noise associated with prolonged rain, the sudden onset of a shower is sometimes enough to put them on edge, again reducing feeding activity.

Rain can make a huge difference to the productivity of barbel fishing on rivers. It will colour up the river and increase flow rates and water levels, with some rivers requiring less rain than others for this to occur. This can bring problems with debris, such as leaves, making it almost unfishable, so go as the levels start to drop. A smelly bait such as flavoured meat can work well.

Angler's Mail

Running from 1964 until 2020, Angler's Mail was the UK's leading weekly magazine devoted to coarse fishing, telling readers everything they needed to know about which fish to catch, where to catch them, and what kit they needed to do it. Now, loads of the magazine's expert advice can be found on, as a helpful resource for angling newcomers and experts alike.