Ian Mclaughlan discusses his findings on how air pressure affects carp’s behaviour.

Ian Mclaughlan discusses his findings on how air pressure affects carp’s behaviour.

I had my first real lightbulb moment regarding air pressure in 2005, but I had been paying attention to them for some five years previous. When fishing one lake in particular, I had noticed that when a fresh south westerly wind was blowing and the pressure increased the fish would be on the end of it but take that same wind and an air pressure drop, you would find them on the back of it. That’s when it really clicked for me and I started to pay close attention to air pressures and the carps whereabouts as a result of them.

Before I go any further though, I think I should explain what is considered high pressure and what is considered low pressure. High is anything above 1020 mbar, with low being 1005 mbar or less, anything in between I refer to as middle air pressure. Now a lot of people think low pressure and deep areas, high pressure and shallow areas go together. This might be the case for some lakes, but I noticed on separate lakes, middle air pressure meant middle of the pond. You could have two lakes side by side, one with the deepest part of the lake being in the centre of the pond and the other lake being shallowest in the centre, yet a middle air pressure would see both lots of carp group to the middle of the lakes.

I had my first real lightbulb moment regarding air pressure in 2005, but I had been paying attention to them for some five years previous. When fishing one lake in particular, I had noticed that when a fresh south westerly wind was blowing and the pressure increased the fish would be on the end of it but take that same wind and an air pressure drop, you would find them on the back of it. That’s when it really clicked and I started paying a lot of attention to air pressure and its affects on the carp.

Before I go any further though, I think I should explain what is considered high pressure and what is considered low pressure. High is anything above 1020 mbar, with low being 1005 mbar or less, anything in between I refer to as middle air pressure. Now a lot of people think low pressure and deep areas, high pressure and shallow areas go together. This might be the case for some lakes, but I noticed on separate lakes, middle air pressure meant middle of the pond. You could have two lakes side by side, one with the deepest part of the lake being in the centre of the pond and the other lake being shallowest in the centre, yet a middle air pressure would see both lots of carp group to the middle of the lakes.

Of course, there are variables like anything else in fishing. Carp go where carp feel comfortable at the end of the day, and not every lake is the same. I’ve found outside of the summer months that air pressure plays less of a part. In spring they are waking up and the sun plays a big role here, then of course there's spawning. Respectively, in the autumn, carp are focused on harvesting the last of the natural foods. For me though, during the summer, air pressure plays a massive part in my angling. I remember one season in particular when I’d been keeping notes and focused heavily on-air pressures and noticed a pattern emerge. The following summer I implemented what I’d learnt the previous year and amassed 58 bites in 11 weeks. For the lake in question that was un-heard of. This isn’t me bragging, because I’m really not like that, it’s just an example of how I was able to use my findings from the previous season.

Something else that I noticed is that if the air pressure has been steady for a number of hours, then it plays less of a factor; it was all about the quick changes. To give an example, I was on the fish one day, I had the rods sorted and gave them a good hit of bait. When I checked my phone, I noticed the pressure changing fast, I reeled in instantly without hesitation, and moved to an area where nothing had been seen for a couple of days, but I knew they liked it when the pressure fell. A friend of mine said I was crazy but sure enough, it wasn’t long, and the fish arrived in numbers. I went on to catch a real special one not long after getting the rods sorted. What made it even sweeter, was that this fish was passing the bait that I’d put in where the fish had been just hours before. Again, proving to me that the air pressure played a huge part in the carp’s movements.

I could give several more examples, but I think you get the idea. This isn’t an exact science and there are many variables which haven’t been mentioned above, as I can’t make it too easy... The bottom line is, every lake has a pattern and if you stay mobile, keep your eyes and ears peeled, you’ll notice a picture emerging. Trust me though, at certain times of the year, air pressure is king!

Something else that I noticed is that if the air pressure has been steady for a number of hours, then it plays less of a factor; it was all about the quick changes. To give an example, I was on the fish one day, I had the rods sorted and gave them a good hit of bait. When I checked my phone, I noticed the pressure changing fast, I reeled in instantly without hesitation, and moved to an area where nothing had been seen for a couple of days, but I knew they liked it when the pressure fell. A friend of mine said I was crazy but sure enough, it wasn’t long, and the fish arrived in numbers. I went on to catch a real special one not long after getting the rods sorted. What made it even sweeter, was that this fish was passing the bait that I’d put in where the fish had been just hours before. Again, proving to me that the air pressure played a huge part in the carp’s movements.

I could give several more examples, but I think you get the idea. This isn’t an exact science and there are many variables which haven’t been mentioned above, as I can’t make it too easy... The bottom line is, every lake has a pattern and if you stay mobile, keep your eyes and ears peeled, you’ll notice a picture emerging. Trust me though, at certain times of the year, air pressure is king!

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