Does Fog Affect Fishing?

Does Fog Affect Fishing?

Does fog affect fishing? That is a good question and the answer is yes, and not always in a bad way. Sometimes, foggy weather can give you some of the best fishing conditions that you can find. When you fish in foggy weather, there are things that you need to know such as what types of bait and lures you should use as well as the type of weather, like is it warm or cold outside.

How Fog Affects Fishing

When the weather is colder than normal, the fishing can be bad in the winter but awesome in the summer. When the relative air temperature is warmer than it has been and it is foggy out, the added heat can get the fish up and moving. In the winter, it will be just the opposite with slow-moving fish that are still out looking for food.

Nighttime Fog

Usually, when it is foggy at night, fishing success will slow down. This is especially true for fish like pike, trout, panfish, and bass because all of these fish are “sight” predators and rely a lot on their keen eyesight to find food. When it is foggy, it makes it harder for them to find food. Walleye is also a “search” predator but to a lesser extent. This is because they can spot food at night but under dark skies, they will be just slower. 

On nights when it is a full moon, these sight predatory fish can see baitfish because the upper couple of feet of water are illuminated. When it is a dense foggy night, any moonlight is reduced from reaching the water so it is hard to fish for these fish. Fish like catfish, carp, and stripe bass become more active under foggy conditions because they do not rely as much on eyesight to find food.

Best Lures & Baits

The best lures and baits to use will depend on a variety of factors with weather being the biggest factor. When talking about temperature, it is the relative temperature that really matters. For example, a five-degree difference colder or warmer than normal can mean big changes. The fish will start to slow down if the water is colder than it was. In this case, you will want to use slow-moving baits. Bass and other species will move away from shady cover in fog but with the cooler temperatures, the fish will move slower. Some ideal bait and lures would be finesse baits such as plastic worms, jigs, and ned rigs.

When it is simply foggy but warmer, you should use slow-moving baits like crankbaits, spinners, and swimbaits. These are considered “search style baits” and will let you cover a lot of water searching for roaming fish. When it is foggy, it will make it better for them to leave shaded cover in search of food.

In dense fog, use topwater baits because the fish can comfortably look up at the surface of the water without worrying about the bright sun glaring down on them. It is recommended that you use solid colors like purples, blacks, and reds lures when it is cloudy or foggy.

fishing in the fog

Fog Fishing Tips

  • When it is foggy out, the fish will not be holding as tight to cover. They might not be under cover but close by so cast wide and draw your baits around the cover they would use. This is a great way to locate roaming fish.
  • During foggy conditions, you can troll to locate the fish. Trolling will help you cover a lot of water. If you are using a GPS, as soon as you get a bite, make it on your GPS. Once this is done, circle the boat back around. The bite you got could be just a roaming fish but most likely you have found a good location that is holding a lot of fish. When you get back to that area, start to dissect the area with swimbaits or crankbaits.
  • If you use electronics to fish, during foggy weather is the best time to use them. The fog makes it easier for you to locate landmarks on the lake that usually attract fish. Since fish like to roam during foggy weather away from their cover, using electronic fishing devices will help you locate pockets of fish.
  • When you are fishing in foggy conditions, use braid. The reason is that when it is foggy out, it is harder to see a fish bite on your lure so your reaction time will be slower. Braid line does not stretch so when a fish bites on your lure, you have hook-setting power immediately so you can hook the fish.
  • When you are fishing in foggy conditions, make sure that you start near areas that are fish producing because all species will cycle in and around the structure that is a bait attractor. It also provides shelter to the fish and gives a fish something to orient itself against.


Fog does affect fishing as it can make them slower or faster, and the main deciding factor is the weather. When the water relative temperature is colder than it has been and it is foggy, the fish will be slower. They will be more active when the temperature of the water is warmer. In addition to fog affecting fishing, it also affects the fisherman. Make sure that you make some noise as you move along and reduce your speed. You do not want to run over anything in the water or run around. Most importantly you do not want to crash into other boats. Have some reflectors on your boat or some type of light so others can see you.

When fishing in the fog, it may be a good haul catching a lot of fish but at other times, you may be out there for several hours and catch nothing. Just make sure that you are using dark colors so it is easier for the fish to see the lures and bait. So fog does affect fishing in a variety of ways, both good and bad.

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