For most anglers, fishing in the rain is not ideal. But fishing in the rain can often be an advantage! Fish are more likely to bite when it’s raining because they enter survival mode. The rain can contribute to a fish-feeding frenzy.
Just remember, there is a huge difference between light rain and a storm. Don’t go fishing if there is thunder, lightning, or a heavy storm approaching. The risk is not worth the reward!
1. Wear Proper Gear
Waterproof or water-resistant gear should be worn or brought when there is a chance of rain in the forecast. When packing your gear, pick out items that will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable.
Rain suits or bibs are a good investment for all weather conditions.
If you don’t have rain gear, a waterproof poncho or jacket is the next best option.
For your feet, rubber boots are a must. They will ensure your feet stay dry, but make sure to get boots with insulation or layer your socks.
Hats and gloves are also highly recommended. Even on a day that seems warm on land, it will get cold when it’s raining out on the water.
Whatever the weather conditions, it is always a good idea to bring a "dry bag" of extra dry clothes.
Not staying dry or wearing the proper gear could lead to sickness or hypothermia.
2. Water and Weather Conditions
Research and stay up to date with the weather conditions when planning to fish on a day with rain in the forecast. It is important to know the water temperature and conditions because they can affect your fishing positively or negatively. Different types of lures and baits are good for specific conditions and types of fish.
Pressure- Barometric pressure is the measurement of air pressure in the atmosphere. Changes in barometric pressure can have a significant effect on fish behavior. Fishing is better during times of low or falling pressure, which often coincides with rain. Barometric pressure drops before it rains and continues to drop while raining, creating a great opportunity to catch a fish.
Temperature- Water and air temperature are huge factors in the outcome of your fishing excursion. Most people find it pleasant and enjoyable to fish on a warm sunny day. But you may be able to catch more fish when it's rainy. When the weather is warm, rain increases the oxygen levels of the water by cooling it. As a result, the fish are more sensitive to the smell of the bait. On the contrary, when it rains and it is cold, the opposite effect occurs. Fishing in the rain during cold weather can be dangerous to anglers and fish. Rain during cold weather can send fish into lockjaw. Knowing the ideal temperature range will be helpful when looking to catch a specific fish.
Wind- The speed and direction of the wind have a significant impact on your fishing. The saying “Wind from the West, fish bite best” should be applied to all weather conditions. It’s not just the direction of the wind that affects fishing, but the reason behind it. A west wind usually happens right before a storm and fish tend to feed when they sense the impending conditions.
3. Fish Before the Storm
If a storm is in the forecast, you should fish before the store instead of right after it occurs. Avoid fishing during a storm if it’s heavy. Fishing in the rain during the calm before the storm can be a chance to get some great catches. Fish near drains, inlets, or spillways where the outflow will churn up bait and fish will be eagerly waiting to feed. Focusing on these areas when fishing in the rain can be effective, especially when the rain starts to come down heavily. And remember to fish with the water movement, not against it.
4. Pick Up Speed
Fish are more aggressive during the rain, so you should use a quicker retrieve when fishing. You should not have to work as hard to make them bite when it rains. Make the most out of your trip by trying various speeds to see how the fish respond.
5. Use Topwater Lures
When it’s raining, it is the perfect time to break out your topwater lures. Topwater lures are a type of surface fishing lure that usually floats just at the water’s surface and may be moved about the surface of the water to attract and cause fish to attempt to strike. When it’s raining, pull out colorful and flashy topwater lures, as they tend to best attract the fish.
Next time you go fishing and there is a light chance of rain, don’t cancel your trip. Take advantage of it. A little rain won’t hurt ya!