There is plenty to be said about what you can learn about fish and fishing when the fish are active and aggressive, but most people don’t understand that the days when the fish don’t bite can be just as important for learning purposes. I actually find the bad days to be more productive.
There are many things to consider when on the water/ice in terms of understanding the fish activity and their patterns; but the weather is probably the single most determining factor in having a successful day. Weather patterns, barometric pressure, wind, fronts, water temp, air temp, and consistent weather patterns all are important things to understand. For example, a steady weather pattern for a week or so will often times lead to steady consistent fishing. The periods just before a front can be some of the best fishing, but once that front hits the fish can often times disappear or completely shut off. Like any animal, movements increase just before a storm. How is this beneficial? Well for starters, look at the weather report and plan your trips accordingly. Also, the fish don’t disappear, they relocate and will potentially change feeling patterns; the best advice is to go find them.
Saturday the 29th of December, left us with unpredictable weather patterns; they were changing almost constantly. Temperatures were rising and falling, along with the pressure. Snow would fly, then stop and the wind would blow, you get the point. The fishing was far from great. Another factor that we had to deal with that made things tough on this day was the fishing pressure. This element taught me something, MOVE!. There was an unusual amount of people out on the bay this day, 28 to be precise. That’s a lot of people for not a very large bay. The fish were not in there normal spots, no matter what we did we could not find the school or marks we were looking for. Looking at the tip ups, kids running around and augers drilling holes I made a big move. I grabbed the auger and the Vex and went chasing following the contour line down the shore. The further away I got from all the commotion the better fish and the more aggressive fish I found. I learned two keys things this day. Play the weather to your advantage, and fish are very sensitive to sound, so make a move. Hopefully this will helps you next time your faced with one of these disadvantages.