How does a Storm Affect Lake Trout Fishing in Canada?

Experienced anglers know that weather plays a big role in the ease of a catch or the struggle of a slow day on the water. Knowing the local weather patterns and how those patterns affect fish behavior will help with your lake trout fishing in Canada.

Lake trout are highly desired for their flavor and trophy sizes. In fact, here at Lake Savant it is not uncommon to catch 8-20lb lake trout. Watch the video below to see some of the lake trout our guests have pulled from these waters.

Canadian Weather Patterns

Due to the unique weather patterns in Ontario, you can often start a day on the water under striking blue skies and find yourself facing ominous thunder clouds in the afternoon. Consult with the staff at your Canadian fishing lodge daily to get an idea of what weather conditions you can expect before hitting the water.

That said, the best fishing experiences can be had right before a storm comes in.

The first step to understanding fish behavior and weather is to understand what the weather does to the atmosphere.

Understand How to Use Barometric Pressure When Fishing Lake Trout in Canada

It’s all about the barometric pressure when predicting lake trout behaviors around a storm front.

The barometric pressure drops before a storm rolls inand it’s this drop that encourages a feeding frenzy in most fish species – including lake trout. Good news for anglers of all skills levels.

Get yourself a digital barometer to track the pressure throughout the day. You’ll notice that the actual pressure itself doesn’t matter, but rather it’s the direction the barometric pressure is heading that does. Rising pressure shuts the fish down, and dropping pressure turns them on.

There are two types of pressure drops that you’ll want to track. The major drops caused by cold storm fronts as referenced above and minor drops throughout the day. After the air has had a chance to heat up on a sunny day, it becomes physically lighter, causing a tiny pressure drop that fish seem to react to in the form of a late-morning or early-afternoon bite.

This rule of thumb works in all weather conditions to some degree. However, by matching live barometric readings with expected stormy weather, you can plan your fishing excursions to take advantage of those times when the fish bite is hot.

How to Fish Lake Trout Around a Storm

There are different strategies anglers employ to successfully fish around a storm front.


Weather ahead of cold fronts lead to excellent fishing conditions due to lower barometric pressure. Fish are great at sensing changes in pressure and increase their activity days before the front moves in. The intensity of the bite often increases with the drop in pressure, right through to the end of the storm.

“Ahead of a cold front, as pressure is falling, air bubbles are released in the water,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Samuhel. “They can take small particles and organisms with them up to the surface, bringing fish up to feed on them.”

This means you may find lake trout higher in the water columnthan normal and that they may be more aggressive with your lures. You can stack the odds in your favor by planning to fish when storms are moving into your area. Action will be especially good during a drop in barometric pressure following a long period of high, stable barometric pressure.

But don’t put yourself in harm’s way. If the storm is imminent, fish near your lodge so that you can return to shelter easily. Get off the water well before the storm arrives. Remember, weather can change quickly.

During the Storm

Don’t.Fishing can be great during a storm, but use extreme caution when thunder starts rumbling. Get off the water when you notice the leading edge of clouds are nearing. Don’t try to rely on judging the distance of lightning strikes.

If you’re dealing with a slight drizzle or light rain with slight winds and no thunder, that doesn’t pose the risk that severe storms do. When in doubt, consult with the locals as they are familiar with the changing weather patterns of the area.


After the storm passes, often for a few days, fishing conditions tend to be poor. This is when colder, denser, heavier air moves in to fill the low pressure. High barometric pressures make the fish lethargic. They are less likely to come up or feed as frequently as they do when the pressure is low. Generally, the stronger the storm (meaning, lightning, thunder, and wind) the longer the fishing bite will be “off” and the reverse is also true. The less severe or quicker a storm passes with little lightning or thunder, the quicker a good bite returns.

If you do decide to try and fish during this time, you can catch fish. You just need to alter your strategy.

Keep in mind that a lake trout will follow where their prey goes. This prey will move towards dense cover or into deeper water during cold, high-pressure fronts. Also, as all the fish will be feeling sluggish, you’ll have to work hard to entice them to bite. Persistence pays off but expect to work for every strike.

What baits and fishing techniques work best after a strong thunderstorm?

There are no “magic baits” especially following a severe storm. Every angler has experienced varied success with varied equipment and techniques. You could try the following:

  • Try and find large weed beds with wind blowing into them. Fish the outside deep edge using a ¼ oz jighead and a 3” twister-tail (chartreuse, white, or smoke) and throw parallel to the face of the weed-bed. Let your twister tail slowly swim deep along the deep edge.
  • You may benefit from adding live bait.
  • You could try a ¼ oz spinner-bait with a bright red skirt. There may be something about the color that’s more enticing.
  • Keep in mind the bites will feel less powerful due to the fact the fish are not as aggressive. They may feel like a slight “tick” or the line might feel “heavy”.
  • Fish at different depth levels, exploring where the lake trout might be hiding out. During high pressures, they are likely going to want to be as deep as they can just above the thermocline where oxygen levels are best.
  • Consult with the staff at your Canadian fishing lodge to see what worked for them in the past under similar conditions.
  • You’ll need to experiment and play with different strategies. Try to make sure you have several different options in your tackle arsenal.


If you’ve booked your fishing vacation, you’re pretty much stuck with the weather you get during that time. If your trip happens to coincide with a storm, try to get on the water before it arrives and see about doing something else after it passes. Baring all else, you can still enjoy a fishing excursion during high barometric pressures providing it’s about the environment, company, and the fishing challenge rather than the catch per se.

Are you looking for a terrific Canadian fishing lodge that will give you the lake trout fishing experience of a life-time? Contact us for more information about Wildewood on Lake Savant and/or to book your lake trout fishing adventure.