“The best time to fish for saugeyes is when you have time to go”. I agree with this statement, as I have caught fish on sunny days, rainy days, and during all different types of barometric pressure. My best catches usually occurred when I had the time to fish every day and was able to stay in tune with the bite and be on the water when that hot bite comes along.
However, over time I did observe some patterns relating to weather. I didn’t find these observations to always be true, but I found them to be true often enough that I always take them into consideration. One condition I always consider is the passing of a weather front, cold fronts especially. In the spring, cold fronts sometimes have a drastic effect on fish. However, I have at times noticed some good fishing BEFORE the front arrives. Also after ice out and in the spring, I’ve noticed positive changes during any time that the weather becomes warmer, especially if it lasts for a few days.
In the fall and winter, it seems that the opposite occurs. I’ve enjoyed some good bites right before a cold front, during cold fronts, and the days following cold fronts. I’ve fished in some nasty weather during the fall and at times it really seems to get the fish fired up. My rule of thumb for fall fishing is the nastier and colder the weather, the better the fishing gets.
One last thing I want to mention is out of the ordinary weather. I remember one fall season where it rained excessively. It rained so much that there was flooding everywhere. One spot that I frequently fished was so flooded that the lake water rose almost 10 feet. This spot was a feeder stream on a reservior. I was absolutely disgusted with this and was sure that the fall season was ruined, as everyone I knew was not catching anything anywhere. After a few days I returned to this spot and couldn’t believe what I saw. The water was sparkling and boiling with baitfish. There had to of been millions of them! The fish were there with them, and completely stacked! I immediately threw out a jerkbait and got a strike on the first cast and reeled in a healthy 18 inch saugeye. The next cast was successful as well. I got bit on almost every single cast, only keeping the best fish and ended up with a nice limit of 18-24 inch fish. This was by far the hottest saugeye bite I ever experienced and it lasted for almost a month.
The best time to fish is when you have time to go, but I do always consider weather conditions especially when my time is limited. Fishing at prime times can help and put more fish on the stringer.
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