Weather for Fishing

By Mark Skiles


This activity is specifically designed for the LaVista Jr. High fishing club. It could be incorporated into other science clubs or ecology units.


This long-term research project has 2 main objectives. Participating students will learn how to use weather measuring devices to record and study weather conditions at different locations, during different times. After much data collection, participating students will attempt to draw conclusions about the relationship between weather conditions, lunar cycle and fishing success.


  • high-low thermometer
  • barometer
  • sling psychrometer
  • wind speed measuring device
  • cloud identification guide
  • moon phase guide
  • fishing tackle
  • pencil
  • paper


  1. Have students work in teams to gather weather data during field trip outing. Each team should use a different weather instrument. Several recorded measurements should be taken and then averaged to produce the recordable number. The enclosed "Weather Data" sheet may be used for recording this information. Make sure students share their data with other members of the class.
  2. Record the moon phase at the time of the field trip outing. Discuss with students why moon phase may affect the feeding patterns of fish (remember that the life cycles of many aquatic insects follow the moon cycle, and this affects the feeding cycle of the fish!)
  3. Using paper and pencil, students should record data pertaining to the fish caught during the trip. Pertinent data includes: total number of fish caught, total number of each species caught, length of fish etc.
  4. In the classroom: Discuss with students how weather conditions and the lunar cycle affect fishing success. Remind students that there are many other variable to consider--lure selection, availability of fish, water quality etc. Have students record data on charts or in computer data banks to contribute to a long term research project.


Name_______________  Date__________  
Name of Lake______________  Location on Lake_______________ Time of Day__________

I. Moon cycle: _______________

II. Weather conditions:

  • High temperature_____
  • Low temperature_____
  • Barometric reading (air pressure)_____
  • Relative Humidity_____
  • Wind direction_____
  • Wind speed_____
  • Sky conditions (clear, partly cloudy, overcast)_____
  • Cloud type_____
  • Precipitation type (if any)____
  • Precipitation amount (if any)_____
  • Other weather happenings_____

III. Fishing success:

In the space below, list each species of fish caught with the total number caught. The comments column may be used for describing fishing techniques used, lure selection, amount of cover etc.

  • Species
  • Total caught
  • Comments