My gut says social media will cause the downfall of Western civilization.

Most fishing tackle manufacturers now put more weight on social media activity than fishing ability in choosing their pro staff.

Although I post regular fishing reports on Facebook, you won’t find me on other social media like Twinkle or Snap-Jig. But a quick check of one website on my desktop “shiny object” with a second cup of coffee is an important part of the daily routine—especially this time of year.

The website Weather Underground has critical information for outdoors folks. The local weather station is located right in Creston Park. Weather conditions like wind speed, direction, cloud cover and barometric pressure drive fish activity—or lack thereof—helping fishers to better plan time spent outdoors.

Most critical is barometric pressure this time of year. Fish metabolism is already slow. High barometric pressure brings feeding desire to a screeching halt.

Today will be a tough day to put fish on the ice. According to Weather Underground, barometric pressure will be above 30.50 all day, with temperatures struggling to get into double digits.

The only upside to this outdoor situation is that cold temperatures this weekend will firm up ice along the edges of lakes, creating ‘safer’ access.

Fish feeding activity will be both limited and brief until midweek when the barometer is supposed to be in 29.50 territory. Couple this with overcast skies that come with approaching snow, and the fish activity window will stay open for a longer time than the typical 20 minutes once, or maybe twice, a day.

I’m not saying fish can’t be caught around noon today if you can drop something tiny down the hole on extremely light fluorocarbon line and present your offering with an almost “deadstick” presentation.

Employing a little Northland Tackle bead chain on a small Buckshot Rattle Spoon with a tiny tungsten jig or jeweled treble baited with a single red spike will call fish in. if you try a slow and subtle jigging presentation you might just get them to bite.

A little red or purple plastic on the jig might produce more fish than a lively spike. But when the barometric pressure is stratospheric a little “meat” on the hook usually provides an edge.

Spikes are tapered—like a carrot. There are two tiny little ‘eyes’ on the fat end of the grub. Hook the bait just under the skin, right between the eyes and lower it down to a point about 6-10 inches above where electronics say panfish are holding.

The electronics will tell you how the fish are responding to whatever it is you are doing to make them bite.

But if the barometer is above 30.50, they’ll probably lick frosting instead of chomping the cake.

Ted Peck, a certified Merchant Marine captain, is an outdoors columnist for The Gazette. Email him at tedpeck@acegroup.cc

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