Professional Guided Striper Fishing
Trips On Beautiful Lake Ouachita

Located In Hot Springs, Arkansas

 


The Barometer as it Relates to Striper Fishing

   Barometers measure the ambient atmospheric pressure. It is a tool that is useful in forecasting the weather and the weather's effect on the feeding behavior of fish.     
   Have you ever wondered why the fish were so eager to take the bait yesterday, but there seems to be little or no interest today? It could be that a low pressure front is building. When the barometer is low and dropping, a storm is present, or on the way. When the barometer is high, the weather is fair and dry. An exception to the rule is when sitting on the lake, under storm clouds, and a rain shower happens, this causes the barometer to rise. That is why it is said, that the fishing is good after a rain.
   The barometer is a useful tool to help us unlock some of the mysteries of fishing and catching. Atmospheric pressure fluctuations affect the air bladder in the fish. When the barometer is low, the bite is off, as the fish will spend most of their efforts on equalizing their air bladder and pay less attention to feeding. However, when the pressure is high the chances for catching fish is far greater.
   Fish will generally feed at the onset of a storm and between the approaching fronts, or as the barometer rises and falls through the course of the day.

   Wildlife also knows when and what to expect from the weather due to changes in barometric pressure. When the surrounding birds and wildlife are active and being their leisurely selves, the barometric pressure is stable or high. The majority of wildlife can sense the approach of a storm, you'll notice that it can get pretty quiet on and around the lake when the pressure is dropping because a storm is approaching.  

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The Thermocline as it Relates to Striper Fishing

   Locating feeding fish is one of the most important skills a fisherman can develop. You can mark fish on your sonar and not entice them to strike your bait if they are not in their "feeding zone".
   Most species of fish have a preferred temperature of water that they will actively feed in. Find this area of temperature with fish present and you will greatly increase your chances of catching fish. Remember, fish are cold blooded. In water too cold, fish will be dormant, sluggish and will not feed. In water too warm, they will be seeking a more comfortable better oxygenated environment. So an understanding of how the different temperature levels of lakes will help.
   On most lakes, water temperatures tend to settle into horizontal layers of warm water and cold water that are separated by a moderating layer known as the "thermocline". The thermocline typically will be the most active "feeding zone".
   Simply put, the thermocline is a thin layer of water in a lake which is sandwiched between the upper layer of water (the epilimnion) and the lower, colder layer of water (hypolimnion). During the summer months, surface water is heated by the sun and the surface temp could be 85 degrees or more. This floats over a layer of colder more denser water called the hypolimnion. Between these two layers you have a thin layer (the thermocline) which the water temp and oxygen ratio is generally considered the stripers comfort zone.

   Sunlight is a factor to consider when seeking the striped bass comfort zone out. Usually the thermocline where the light is just right and the oxygen is comfortable for the stripers. However stripers like other bass can see ultraviolet rays and do not have eyelids, their pupils do not adjust as humans do. Also remember sunlight will diffuse differently depending on the time of day. Early morning and late afternoon the suns rays will be at more of an angle and not as intense. Midday with the sun directly overhead, very intense, and of course don't forget the favored overcast day. Wind (wave action) will also affect the suns penetration into the water, as will the clarity of the water.
   In the heat of summer, early fall, and deep winter striped bass will be in and around the thermocline. In fact, depending on weather conditions (high summer temps) stripers can be found in the hypolimnion, sometimes catching them in 40 feet or deeper water.
   The bottom section of a lake is where everything settles to decay thus eating up the oxygen and not a good place to find striped bass.
   In spring and fall stripers usually have more options depending on weather patterns and the thermocline does not play as much of a role in targeting them.
   Quality sonar units can identify and display the thermocline quite well nowadays. Keep in mind, on large/deep lakes the thermocline depth and density can vary from area to area.
 

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Striped Bass Adventures
Striper Fishing On Lake Ouachita
Hot Springs, Arkansas