Fishing around the storms

About the author

Kevin VanDam

Kevin VanDam

In the world of professional bass fishing, Kevin VanDam is at the pinnacle and arguably the best in the world.

There’s a weather phenomenon going on throughout the country that can affect your success on the water.

Here in Michigan, we’ve been getting thunderstorms and big deluges of rain in short periods of time, coupled with major swings in the barometer.

These rapid weather changes often bring violent storms with them and are something to take seriously. A lot of people have lost everything they owned in these storms despite being as prepared as they could be.

In other words, these storms are nothing to mess around with.

However, the changes in the pressure systems have an impact on the bass and provide short windows of opportunity to have some fun fishing.

They really can trigger a good bite.

For example, earlier this week I could feel a weather change brewing and monitored the weather channel as well as the weather app I have on my phone. I knew I had a few hours before it would hit, so I slipped down to my pond to do a little casting.

It was amazing. I swear that every bass in the pond was up on the bank, chasing bluegills and feeding like crazy. They sensed the pressure change and were reacting to it.

Now, I’m not suggesting anyone go fishing during or on the very front edge of a storm.  But with today’s weather technology, if you know the storm is a few hours away, it might be a good time to try a little fishing. First and foremost, monitor your smart phone, update weather maps often and be cognizant of how far the storm is from where you’re fishing.

Give yourself time to be safely on the bank, never make a long run and fish close to the ramp. If there’s any hint of lightning, get off immediately.

If you play it safe, though, you can squeeze in a good hour or two of fishing and still get off the water and be home before the storm hits.

There are several ways to catch bass during these pre-storm low pressure systems.

Bass in my part of the country are in postspawn and feeding on spawning bluegill, and that makes for a great time to use topwater poppers and frogs. A lot of our lakes have abundant vegetation, and the fish are keying on whatever shallow cover there is; that’s where you can find them when a low pressure system is forthcoming.

Fishing can be really good after a storm hits, too. Typically, these summer storms will blow through quickly, and the lake will calm down afterwards. That slick water makes for some excellent topwater fishing around those bluegill beds.

The bass know where those bluegills are spawning and they will set up ambush areas around those bluegill beds and pick off any fish that wanders by.

There’s nothing more fun than fishing topwaters shallow around those bluegill beds. If there’s a storm looming on the horizon and you have the time, go get ’em!

Remember, it’s all about the attitude!

Kevin VanDam's column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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