Forecasting for successful fishing: Weather conditions to help with your catch

Get the weather on your side with these fishing tips

Canadians are truly spoiled with world-class fishing opportunities from coast to coast. Whether you're drilling the Lake Nipissing ice, flying for Credit River trout, trolling for Nipigon lakers, or drifting Saugeen salmon, knowing what to look for in the forecast can make or break your day on the water. Gord Ellis, a professional fishing guide, has some tips on how to improve your chance of landing that trophy this season.

Here are some tips on dealing with the three biggest weather influences on fishing:

Wind can be your friend or foe on the water. Fly Fishing and paddling can be tough in the afternoon breeze, but in a fishing boat, a breeze can help immensely. A steady breeze will develop a "chop on the water," stirring up bait fish and refracting the sunlight, persuading predatory fish such as pike, walleye, and bass to feed during the otherwise slower hours of the day.

Sun and clouds should be the biggest weather factors in choosing your lure. Bright, sunny days will drive fish deeper since they lack sunglasses and even eyelids. Using a silver spoon or spinner can create flashes and vibrations to grab the fish’s attention from the depths. Jigging or deep-diving crankbaits are another great option. Cloudy days will prevent the top of the water from warming up and will be easier on the eyes, so try using a more natural colour scheme.

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Water temperature plays a different role throughout the season, depending on the species. Trout prefer colder water, moving into the rivers in March to spawn before returning to the cold, deep water of the lakes. Cold, fast-flowing streams with deep holes can hold trout throughout the year, even in southern Ontario.

On summer days at the cottage, there is truth to the old "early bird gets the worm" saying. Sunrise is when the water is coolest and fish are looking for a meal before taking cover for the heat of the afternoon. By sunset, the warm but cooling waters will have the bait fish very active, triggering the hungry sport fish to start feeding. Try some topwater poppers for some exciting bass and pike action when the water is calm.

In the fall, when the water temperature is cooling day by day, fish will eventually start feeding more aggressively to bulk up for the cold months ahead.

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No matter the weather or the water, you can have a great day of fishing if you check the forecast, bring the proper lure (or two), and aim to have a great day; the fish are just the cherry on top.

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Thumbnail credit: Cristine Isenor/Submitted to The Weather Network.