If you ask ten different fisherman “is it good to fish in the rain?”, you’ll probably get ten different answers. Fishing is one of those hobbies where everyone has strong opinions that are based as much on intuition, personal experience, and rumor as they are on science and fact. That can make it difficult for a beginner to figure out what advice to follow.
The thing is, most experienced fisherman really do know what they’re talking about; their years of experience mean that they’re probably right most of the time. But, there are so many factors that influence success in fishing that just because they’re right about what works for them they won’t always be right about what works for you. Luckily, with a bit of digging, you can usually figure out what’s true and what’s not.
Is it good to fish in the rain?
Yes, it’s food to fish in the rain. Fish really are more likely to bite on a rainy day. Oddly, it may not be the rain causing this, though. If you pay close attention, you’ll soon realize that the fish bite more on any day when it’s cloudy and overcast, whether the rain falls or not.
There are a number of factors which cause this. The rain itself does seem to have some influence, but in general it seems that the atmospheric conditions that cause gray, cloudy days also lead to increased fish activity.
How do you fish when it’s raining?
First, dress for the weather. Fishing during a rainy day can be perfectly pleasant if you’re wearing good rain gear. This also means you might need to dress a bit warmer than you usually would for a fishing trip.
While the rain is falling, you’ll want to try topwater baits and lures. Fish are drawn to the surface during rainy weather, and they’re more likely to strike your lure there. In addition to being drawn toward the surface, they’re also more active, more willing to roam and chase bait. It’s an ideal time to use topwater lures all day long.
Because the fish are more likely to roam, you’ll also want to move around more often, spending less time in just one spot. This can be counter intuitive for a lot of anglers, but on a rainy day your targets aren’t going to stay in one sweet spot all day long. As soon as the action starts slowing down in one spot, it’s time to move on.
Finally, look for places along the shore where runoff from the rain is pouring into the water. That runoff is very nutrient rich, so it attracts a lot of bait fish and, in turn, a lot of bigger fish like bass, catfish, etc.
Is fishing better before, after, or during rain?
Fishing is usually better before and during a storm, with a significant decrease in bites for a couple of days after a storm passes through. Since the fish are much more active during the storm and right before it, it’s likely that they simply don’t feel the need to eat as much for a bit after a storm.
There are other factors, too. After a big enough storm, lakes and rivers have a higher water level, which means the fish are spread out more, and that makes it harder for anglers to find them. All the runoff washed into the water also cuts down on visibility, so fish that hunt by sight have a harder time finding the bait.
Is fishing good after a storm?
Typically, no. Rain raises the water level in lakes and rivers which spreads the fish out and makes it more difficult to find. Most species are also more active before and during a storm and tend to spend a couple of days in the aftermath of the storm resting and eating less. In most places, the water is murky from runoff being washed into the water and the currents are stronger because of the increased water flow, and these factors all contribute to decreased fish activity.
How does weather affect fish behavior?
Different types of weather absolutely affects fish behavior. In cold weather, fish are generally more lethargic and sluggish. While in warmer weather, fish are much more active.
Since almost all fish are cold-blooded, they can’t regulate their body temperature which is why they slow their movements to a minimum in the cold. Since they are moving less and burning less calories, they also require less food. This is good because food is typically less available for fish in the colder months.
Other types of weather aside from temperature changes will also affect fish behavior, let’s take a look at how.
Are fish more active in the rain?
Yes, fish are more active in the rain. One of the main reasons for this appears to be an instinctive behavior in juvenile fish. These fish are drawn to the surface during the rain because most of their predators are not active when it’s raining. That makes it much safer for them to be active near the surface during the day, so they come to the surface in large numbers to feed.
This behavior is triggered by the drop in barometric pressure that comes before a storm, which is why they’re more active even on cloudy days when it doesn’t rain.
This preference for bad weather seems to be retained well into adulthood by many, if not most species of fish. It’s not just protection from predators that make rainy days so appealing. The runoff from the rain that falls on the land washes huge amounts of important nutrients into the rivers and lakes, which draws lots of bait fish, and these, in turn, attract bigger predatory fish.
Raindrops also aerate and cool the water, which makes conditions much more pleasant during the warm summer months for many fish. There are likely many more factors contributing to this, and the effects of dropping pressure on fish are still poorly understood.
Where do fish go when it rains?
Right to the surface. The rain hitting the surface of the water is like ringing a dinner bell for many fish. They have cover from most predators and so they swim right up to the surface and start eating as much as they can. They’re stockpiling as much food as possible while it’s safe for them to be at the surface.
What weather do fish bite best in?
Anytime there’s a drop in pressure, fish will bite more. This means rainy days, but it also means cloudy, overcast days, and it can mean the bite will improve days before the rain comes. There’s something about the drop in atmospheric pressure that triggers the increased bite, so as soon as the pressure starts dropping, you should get a line in the water.
Rainy days are some of the best times for you to fish. The fish will move close to the surface, and they’ll be actively feeding as much as they can. You don’t have to wait for the rain, though. Any drop in barometric pressure will trigger this behavior, so you can often have several days of great fishing before the rain comes.