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How Do Hurricanes Affect Fishing?

Fishing boats near the shore and an upcoming storm in the horizon.

Most fishers feel the best time to catch some bait is before a major storm like a hurricane. They believe that the fish aren’t as eager to bite during or after a storm because they can sense bad weather. They also believe that fishing during or after a storm could cause the water to be more cloudy. This makes it harder for the fish to see and catch some good bait.

However, I have some interesting news to share that not all fishermen feel this same way. Some have been getting some quality fishing after a storm. It has been particularly good for shore, near coastal, and Bay fishermen. Let’s find out some other interesting ways why fishing after a storm can not be so bad after all and how hurricanes affect your fishing.

Why Fishing After Storms is Good for Shore Fishermen

When fishing after a storm, the type and quantity of fish you get depends on various contributing factors. One of those factors involves the area you plan to fish in. Flooded areas could become good fishing areas because they create new fish habitats. This food supply consists of shrimp, insects, shellfish, and small fish that arrive in the water.

Shore fishermen fish well after storms because of the water levels. The heavy storms from the hurricane and abnormally high tides caused the water levels to be high. What other contributing factors influence the quality of your fishing after a storm? Let’s examine them closely and why they’re important.

Other Contributing Factors to Fishing after a Storm

An old man fishing on the shore with a catch.

Every hurricane storm is different and the result of each one can differ greatly in how it affects aquatic organisms. In addition to considering the area where you plan to fish, other contributing factors to the quality of your fishing depend on geography, the changes in aquatic and atmospheric conditions, the type of fish you want to catch, and the strength of the storm.

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For example, when fishing after a storm in the southwest area, try using clams and split crabs as bait because fish start to feed on them heavily. Storm winds cause these clams and split crabs to get crushed and pushed to the opposite shoreline.

Changes in aquatic and atmospheric conditions could play a role in how successful you are in fishing after a storm. When a hurricane occurs, fresher water is brought in and it could negatively or positively affect the activity of the fish population. Sometimes, storms could result in fresher surface water that is higher in oxygen, causing more fish to appear.

As for changes in atmospheric conditions and how this impacts fish activity, it depends on which way and the degree to which atmospheric pressure fluctuates. This atmospheric pressure impacts the location of populations, whether fish start going deeper into the water or linger more on the surface.

If atmospheric pressure starts to drop, small creatures such as zooplankton or phytoplankton start to rise to the top, drawing in larger fish to catch.

How Hurricanes Affect Fish Population

Hurricanes often pose a danger to fish populations. It is usually not too common to see dead fish floating in the water after one. This is because the stronger the storm, the larger the changes in the fish population will become. Hurricanes usually affect fish conditions more than small or medium-sized storms.

There are other reasons why you might find dead fish floating in the water after a hurricane. Water could become too choppy and rough for fish located near the surface. In some cases, fish could become damaged by debris that comes loose in a storm. Bigger fish are usually immune to debris because their strength can cause them to swim to deeper waters.

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It could be hard to predict what will happen to fish populations after a storm. However, if you’re at the right place at the right time, you might find yourself amid a large fish migration. But how safe is fishing after a storm? Let’s examine this closely.

Is Fishing after a Storm Safe?

It could be, but it depends on the weather conditions of your area. Be sure you’re finding out the state of the weather in your area before deciding to fish. Consider going fishing with another person. After an intense storm like a hurricane, I think it could become a serious risk to fish alone.

You could find yourself at serious risk of injury or being dragged out at sea due to heavy winds and currents. Be wary of any predators in uncommon places when fishing in the ocean.

Is there Certain Equipment that Must be Used?

When fishing after a storm, it might be advisable to use specific equipment if the winds are strong where you live. Use equipment that is heavy enough to not fly away, but will also not cause you to fly away when you lose control of your rod. For murky, hard-to-see waters, try using shinier bate to attract the attention of fish you think might be present.

What About Fishing Before a Storm?

A fishing boat and a pouring rain in the horizon.

Now that we know how fishing can be affected after a storm occurs. What happens when you want to fish before a storm? The true key to successful fishing before a storm is getting there at the right time. Be sure you’re reading storm charts and seeing what fronts are coming your way. The best time to fish before a storm is normally a day or two before it hits your area.

When tracking a heavy storm, consider investing in some technology like a digital barometer. This device is great to use in charting the change in pressure. You can see in which direction this pressure change is going and where to meet the most drastic part of it.

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Bigger changes in pressure equate to bigger fish and this device allows you to be better prepared to find the perfect fishing spot. Having this handy digital barometer could help you take advantage of fishing before a storm.

When Should You Not Fish Before a Storm?

When fishing before a great storm, there’s good and bad times to do it. If you time your fishing trip poorly, I could imagine it being a bad experience for you. Once you look up in the sky and see a storm coming on, you should leave immediately.

After the storm clears out, a cold front starts to occur. This is signaled by severe winds and clear skies, resulting in a spike in barometric pressure.  The fish tend to hide away during this time and are unlikely to come out.

Hurricanes Affect Your Fishing in Different Ways

A dead fish on the shore after the storm.

Every hurricane is different.  If one that hits your area is extremely powerful, you could expect to see many dead fish floating in the water.  Powerful natural disasters like this could cause weeks or even years for fishing to recover.  The damage could be so devasting for active fishermen.

However, if you pick a good area, like a flooded area near a shore, you might have some fishing success.  These areas create new fish habitats for fishermen.  Shore fishermen tend to do well after storms due to this and the high water levels.

I also learned that there could be several contributing factors to how hurricanes could influence the quality of your fishing.  Another important thing to remember is to always bring a person with you when fishing after a storm.  Make sure you’re timing things right when fishing before a storm.  Follow these tips and so much in learning about the connection between hurricanes and fishing.