In keeping with our theme of the week (THIS BLOWS), let’s talk more about cold fronts (or any weather pattern shift) and fishing…
There’s an old adage… “Fish Before the Front”
I guess it is saying the Fishing is hot just before the cold, and there is a lot of truth to that…
Fish are very sensitive to weather changes and the days before a cold front (or any low pressure system) moving into an area can be outstanding for fishing. The fish feel the change in air pressure, they feel the shift in the wind and its effects on the seas and currents, they know… I better eat now, cause in 36 hours to 48 hours food’s gonna be scarce for a few days. We see it every time a front moves through, where’d the bait go? Well the bait moves and goes down they really don’t like the cold or the stormy seas. So when the bait goes down, so does the fishing.
Now let’s take a good look at the timing involved here: In Florida during the winter we normally see 1 (maybe even 2) cold front(s) in a week. The 24 to 36 hours before the front, the winds veer from an easterly/southeasterly to a southerly/southwesterly direction and the barometer begins to fall. These are signals not only to the fishermen, but the fish. Better get your “groceries” today, because the weather is going to the crapper soon.
The Day of the front will normally bring some squally weather and a wind shift with winds veering from the southerly/southwesterly pre-front direction to a westerly/northwesterly; this is when we see the water turn to all different colors of brown. Fishing these days is ill advised; not only will the bite be tough, but safety is an issue too. Just yesterday day (during a front) I read about 4 water rescues. With winds from the Northwest at 25kts and gust above 30kts; this was just plain crazy to even be out there.
The day of and the day after the front usually will give you the slowest bite (and most dangerous seas), but on the third day the fishing seems to turn on and sometimes with a vengeance (especially if another cold front is approaching). By this time the winds have lain down and switch to a northeasterly/easterly direction. There have been some solid tide changes and the water begins to return to normal. Bait returns and so do the fish with an appetite that can be ravenous.
So as with all things… fishing around fronts… Timing is everything