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Is it Good to Go Fishing After it Rains? How About When it’s Raining?

A man fishing after the rain with his umbrella.

“All species of fish are masters of their environment, and can usually sense even the smallest changes in weather. This may include temperature, rain, and even wind.” – Adam Young

So, you know it’s raining, and the fish know it’s raining. Does that make for good sport or bigger catches? What about after it rains? Does the season or temperature outside make a difference?

The answer to all of these questions is – it depends. Pre-storm isn’t the only phenomenal time to fish. You can get some fantastic angling done during and after a rain shower, but you have to know what you’re doing.

Let’s get down to how to make a catch during wet weather.

Downpours Mean More Fish For You

Father and son fishing on the lake in the rain.

First of all, not all anglers love sitting or standing out in the rain. While planning the right lures and dusting off your waterproofs can seem like a hassle at first, there’s a payoff. You have less competition once you get out there. The pressure is off, and the best spots are yours.

Rain – It’s Like Camo For Anglers

All those raindrops can work to your benefit too. They break up the water surface, hiding you and your line. So, even though fish can see topwater better on cloudy days, a shower works like camouflage. Take note, fly-fishing fans.

A Big Fisherman’s Dream

An old man fishing in the river holding his fishing rod.

Have you heard that storms are perfect for reeling in the really big fish? That’s because oxygen and water temperature changes energize the small fry those Goliaths are after. Energize the little fish, and attract the big fish.

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Why We Love Runoff

Another advantage of rainy day fishing is runoff. As stormy weather drenches the land, new food sources are washed into the lakes and rivers, attracting more fish, especially if you know where to look.

Best Fishing Spots On A Rainy Lake

“…fish on places, such as mud lines, creek inlets, tributaries, and eddies, as they contain both baitfish and larger types, like trout.” – Nathan Barker

Post-Storm Fishing Perks

Fishing after it rains can be profitable, especially if it’s been hot out lately. Anyone who’s been taught the benefits of angling on cloudy days and into likely spots where fish are taking cover, gets that fish like to be comfortable.

Insects are attracted to the water again now that it’s not so hot and food from the bottom has been stirred upwards. As long as it’s still cloudy out and not too cold, post-rain angling can take advantage of active, cooled-down topwater.

Fish that have been hunkering down during the storms will be hungry and out hunting as well. Bonus: they won’t have as much energy to fight you on the line.

High-Pressure Vs. Low-Pressure Systems

A man fishing in the middle of the rain in the river.

If you’re after salmon, perch, catfish, or other species with a swim bladder, you’ll want to pay attention to all the cold front-warm front business the weatherman is up to. While the drops in pressure associated with a cold front mean a pressure drop that’s great for fishing… that’s not necessarily the case if you’re after fish with a swim bladder.

Pressure drops can bring small food up from the depths but chase bony fish into deeper water to regulate their swim bladder better. After a cold front, the rise in pressure can also make for some pretty lethargic fish. So, keep your eye on the barometer.

Downpours Vs. Light Showers

As we’ve mentioned, rainy day runoff is a good thing most of the time. If heavy rains have pulled a lot of mud and snow from the shore into the water instead of food, you’re better off skipping out. You’ll also want to watch out for dangerous flooding after a downpour.

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What About Water Temperature?

Water temperature matters. In warmer weather and warmer water, you’re going to get more active fish. Super hot days and frigid water are going to drive fish into their comfortable hiding nooks and crannies.

So, in addition to how much rain there is, you’ll want to keep track of the temperature. You probably don’t want to be out during a freezing torrent that’s only going to turn into hail. You can bet the fish don’t either.

Is There Good Fishing During Stormy Seasons?

Although spring is known for rain and rising temperatures, water levels can still be pretty high and water temperatures pretty low. Your best bets for rainy weather fishing? Summer and autumn.

Fish love a good rain after hot weather and will go into a feeding frenzy before the colder winter months. So, if you want to get the most out of fishing in the rain, watch the weather report for showers in the summer and rainfall in late autumn.

Should You Go Saltwater Fishing In The Rain?

Ocean shoreline or surf fishing is rainy weather friendly. Why? Because rainfall stirs things up. Fish that are usually more timid feel safer in lower visibility waters. This same lower visibility makes good hiding for bigger fish on the hunt.

Similar to runoff in freshwater situations, rain moves nutrients into the sea along shorelines. This food can come from up on the beach or from freshwater sources feeding into the ocean.

Freshwater Lake Fishing After Rainstorms

A man with his small boat fishing on the lake.

Freshwater fishing in lakes, ponds, and rivers can be great, especially after a cloudburst. That’s because the creeks and inlets that naturally replenish these spots bring in cleaner, clearer water, more oxygen, more food, and a temperature change. All of these are attractive to freshwater fish.

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If the wind has been blowing towards the lake or river shorelines, that means smaller sources of fish food have been pushed in that direction, too. So, make sure to check out these spots for some good fishing.

10 Rainy Day Fishing Tips

  1. Get Comfortabledress appropriately for the weather. Think waterproof jackets in a warmth or breathability level that matches the temperature.
  2. Use Easier To Spot Lures – With all that churned-up muck in the water, you have the opportunity to dig into your more colorful and noisy or vibrating lures.
  3. Bass Fishing? Use Scent – largemouth bass are more likely to be aggressive during a deluge because of a heightened sense of smell.
  4. Clouds Are Your Friend – fish are more comfortable, especially in topwater when it’s cloudy out. The water is cooler, and they can see their prey better.
  5. Thunder & Lightning? Go Home. – always put safety first. If you hear thunder, lightning is on the way, and it doesn’t take much imagination to see how easy it is for that fishing rod of yours to become a dangerous lightning rod.
  6. Fish Near The Surface – It’s Topwater Time – pressure and the churning up of bottom sediment are all working in your favor here.
  7. Find Inlets & Feeder Creeks – go where the fish are gathering, and you’re more likely to get a bite. It’s as simple as that.
  8. Follow Weather Alerts – keep an eye on the weather. These days, it’s easy enough to use an app and set up alerts.
  9. Watch The Wind – windy weather can work for you. Cast nearer to shorelines in the direction the wind is blowing.
  10. Saltwater Fishing? Try The Surf Or Shorelines – Take advantage of decreased water visibility and increased food availability.