How The Weather Affects Carp Fishing

March 13, 2020

Whether you are fishing for Common, Mirror, Grass or Koi carp, the environment and weather conditions can have a considerable impact on whether you will be pulling them up right and left, or simply watching your float on the surface of the water. Avid carp fishermen have amassed many tricks of the trade to get the most out of their fishing experience. If you do not account for the weather, you are drastically missing out on a golden opportunity to catch carp and enjoy fishing even more than you already do. Here are just some of the factors that affect your ability to make your big carp catch.

You can get a  FREE 7-day fishing weather guide  by heading over to our fishing weather section.

Air Pressure

You have heard the meteorologist talk about air pressure all your life, but it is not something to simply disregard in a weather forecast. Air pressure is the amount of force placed on the grown from the above atmosphere. It is measured in millibars and can either be low or high depending on what is going on with the weather on any given day. For carp fishing, air pressure is particularly important during the winter season. High pressure tends to be clear and cold, while low pressure will be cloudy, wet, and slightly warmer. High pressure is great for heading out and taking some pictures of the lake, but not actually fishing in it.

The best time to fish for carp is when air pressure is at its lowest point. The lack of sun promotes the fish to swim deeper allowing for heavier bate and these days tend to have far more activity than high pressure days. If you insist on fishing during one of winter’s high air pressure days, it is still possible to catch some carp, but remember to adjust your equipment to small PVA bags and Zigs for best results.


Upon getting ready to go out for a day of carp fishing, careful inspection of the wind is essential. It is not so much the velocity of the wind, but the direction it is coming from. Generally, colder winds will blow in from the north and east while warmer winds tend to come from the west and south. Ideally, for carp fishing during the winter, you want a strong southwest blowing wind. The reason this is so important is that it makes it a little easier to find the carp in specific locations on the lake. They will tend to gather in areas that are warmer, so if there is a strong easterly wind, find a location that is shielded from the wind. On warmer wind days, fish will congregate in areas where the wind is directly blowing on the water.


Water and air are completely different things and when fishing, the temperature of the air and water must be taken into account. It takes much longer for the temperature of the water to match the temperature of the air. In winter temperatures can plummet fast, but even if the night air is considerably cold, it does not necessarily mean the carp will be resting rather than feeding. An experienced angler knows how to take into account the pressure in the air and the temperatures from the day before. If you have a warmer day with a cooler night, the water can be a lot warmer than the air.

When fishing for carp in colder weather, fishing from the shore is not recommended. Such a massive amount of water will be colder on the edge of the water as it is most shallow. On the days where a cold night follows a warmer day, expect the carp to be located in the center of the lake slightly deeper than more mild temperature days.

Avid anglers recommend getting ready for your winter fishing season in fall. Take some time and track the fish during the autumn to in the deepest parts of your fishing grounds. Once you find where the fish off, you can almost bet they will remain in that relatively warm, deep area throughout winter. When carp find a place to reside when it is getting cold, they rarely will deviate from that space unless the temperature really drops.


Rain can actually be a significant help when carp fishing depending on what depth you are fishing at. For those fishing in deeper waters in winter, it likely will not affect the fish at all unless the rain remains sustained and heavy dropping the temperature of the water. In this instance, the carp will seek warmer waters. While fishing in shallow waters, the carp will almost always seek warmer waters as temperature drops much quicker.

Warmer weather carp fishing tends to bring the best results when it is raining. The agitation of the water and warm droplets can rile up the carp and cause them to begin to feed. However, many anglers claim that a feeding frensy does not occur just because it rains. You cannot simply rely on the evidence of rain, but must take into account air pressure, temperature, and basic environmental factors as well.

Moon Phase

An avid angler understands that moon phases can affect carp fishing. Moon phases are calculated as New Moon, Full Moon, First Quarter, and Last Quarter moons. The different phases depict the moon’s location according to the earth and sun. A New Moon is located directly between earth and the sun. A Full Moon occurs when the moon, sun and earth are aligned. First and Last Quarter Moons occur when the moon is angled 90 degrees in respect to sun and earth.

How does all of this affect carp fishing? It has to do with the gravitational pull on the earth’s surface. Two days before and two days after a moon’s phase is particularly important as this tends to be the best time to go fishing for carp as the gravitational pull seems to provide the most energizing effects to this particular species of fish.

When fishing for carp, these factors can have a drastic impact on your ability to catch these peculiar fish. Another tip for carp fishing, is to stick to a schedule of 2 hours before the moon rises and two hours before it sets and remember the moon sets and rises slightly different than the sun. There is an average of a 50 minute gap between moon rises and sets in accordance with the sun’s schedule. So, schedule your fishing trips according to the moon, not the sun for optimal carp fishing results.