Have you planned everything for the next fishing trip, but the weather turned bad? If it’s raining outside, you probably wonder whether you should stay at home or risk getting wet without catching any fish.
So, is fishing in the rain good? Fishing in the rain and cloudy weather is often better than fishing in normal weather conditions. Cloudy weather and a drop in barometric pressure get fish into a feeding frenzy. Rain also increases fish activity by cooling and aerating the water during times of low oxygen levels in the summer.
If you’re not dressed appropriately, fishing in rainy weather can be a horrendous experience. However, you can have a great time catching fish in light rain with the right clothes and gear.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about fishing in the rain and how rainy weather affects different types of fish.
Is Fishing Harder in the Rain?
With the right equipment to keep you dry, fishing in the rain is usually better than normal fishing.
However, fishing in the rain can be one of the worst experiences without high-quality rain gear for fishing. Being wet and cold is no fun and can dampen your entire fishing trip.
Rain can be perfect for fishing, depending on the season. For example, cold rain will make fishing harder when the water is high and freezing in the early spring.
But, during warm summer months, when the water level has dropped below normal, steady rain or heavy rainfall will make the fish active and increase your chances of going home with a catch.
Avoid fishing during lightning and thunderstorms. Fishing rods can act as an antenna and draw the lightning, so it’s best to stop fishing and head indoors as soon as you hear thunder.
How Rain Affects Fishing
The effects of rain and barometric pressure on fish haven’t been studied and aren’t understood completely. But that’s not stopping the fish from becoming more surface-oriented when the rain falls.
There is no scientific study explaining how rain affects fish. But, any experienced angler will tell you that fishing is better during the low or falling barometric pressure, which often comes before the rain.
Raindrops falling on the waterway may also have an effect on the fish. In the summer, during periods of low oxygen levels in the water, rain aerates and cools water, thus increasing fish activity. Rainwater also increases turbidity because it washes insects and other fish food off the river banks.
One key thing to remember is that rain doesn’t always push fish into a feeding frenzy or make them more active. During cold weather, rain can drop the water’s temperature sending the fish into hiding.
Among all fish species, trout, carp, and bass are the most in tune with weather conditions. Bass reacts the most to water movement, carp to water oxygen levels, and trout to low light conditions, all of which come with rain.
Regardless of which of these fish you prefer to catch, the rain will increase your chances of hooking a fish on a line. Here’s how rain can help with trout fishing, bass fishing, and carp fishing:
Rain Fishing for Trout
Early morning or early evening is the best time for fishing trout in normal weather conditions. The lack of sunlight makes trout more active, making the rain and cloudy weather ideal for trout fishing. These fish prefer hunting in dark conditions because they are less visible to prey in the dark.
The rain and cloudy weather will create low light conditions the trout like. The rainwater will wash the insects from the shore into the water, attracting the trout near the surface. This is an ideal time for you to cast a bait.
Rain Fishing for Carp
Rain fishing for carp is often more productive during warm summer months than in early spring. During summer, rain showers affect carp’s activity, making them more active before the rain.
Carps are also more sensitive to the wind than other fish and will swim in sheltered spots. These fish are also very sensitive to water oxygen levels, which is why they become increasingly active when it rains.
Rain Fishing for Bass
In normal weather conditions, the bass lurks from its hiding place, waiting for prey to come close. However, rainy conditions affect the bass like many other fishes, making it more active than usual.
When fishing for bass in normal weather conditions, remember to keep your distance and stay hidden from the fish. However, fishing in the rain will make you less visible to bass, meaning you can come closer to the fish. This way, your bait won’t make a huge splash while hitting the water, and your casting will be more precise.
Bass is very active and moves close to the surface when it’s raining, so use topwater baits. In the rain, the bass bites aggressively, so don’t keep the bait in one place for too long.
Rain Fishing for Other Fish
Light rain or heavy rainstorms during summer increase fish activity. Rain cools and aerates water in times of low oxygen levels and increases turbidity.
Rainy weather conditions are beneficial for anglers regardless of what type of fish they are trying to catch. Rainy conditions make fish more surface-oriented and put them into a feeding frenzy. If you cast your bait at this time, there’s a huge chance that you’ll have some type of fish on your hook.
4 Useful Tips on How to Fish While Raining
While rainy weather is the main reason why some anglers cancel a fishing trip, it actually creates a great opportunity for catching fish. If you don’t mind standing in the rain or getting wet, here are some helpful tips for fishing in the rain:
1. Try Topwater Baits
Rainy days are the best time to use topwater bait, because the clouds cover the sun, and the water’s surface is broken by raindrops. Fish roam the surface of the water and are actively feeding, making them more likely to bite a topwater lure as it slides across the surface.
2. Fish Faster
With no sun and rain, fish are more active and stay close to the surface. For example, the bass lurking at one spot near the bottom is now spread over a much larger area, swimming and aggressively biting its prey.
To catch fish in these conditions, fish faster so you can cover more water in a day and make fish interested in your bait. If you’re using a spinnerbait, don’t wait long to throw it, and if you’re using a worm, don’t keep it in one spot for too long.
3. Stay Close to Runoffs
During rain, runoff water carries nutrients, which attract baitfish and larger fish like bass. Look for any places where runoff is coming in, especially if it’s still clean.
Bass and other fish will swim a good distance to feed on bait near mud lines and creek inlets. Casting your line in these areas when fishing in the rain can be an effective way to go home with a catch.
4. Wear High-Quality Rain Gear for Fishing
When fishing in poor weather conditions, wear high-quality and waterproof rain gear. Good quality gear makes the difference between being dry and comfortable or wet and miserable.
Choose rain fishing gear that will keep you warm and dry so you can fish all day long or as long as it’s raining.
Is Fishing Better Before or After Rain?
Fishing is better before the rain because barometric pressure drops and lower light conditions prompt fish to swim near the surface. The low light conditions send fish like bass and trout into a feeding frenzy, making this the best time for anglers to throw their lines and catch fish.
At the end of the storm, there is a very short time period when barometric pressure increases and fish are active. When the storm is over, and the rain stops falling, the fish will go back to their usual behavior or even be less active than before the rain.
Fishing before rain is best during summer and early fall. Keep in mind that thunderstorms are common during this time of the year, and avoid being on the water during lightning.
Every experienced angler will tell you that fishing in the rain is better than fishing in normal weather conditions. The lower barometric pressure, low light conditions, and the spatter of raindrops on the surface of the water spur fish into a feeding frenzy.
As long as you’re dressed for the occasion, fishing in the rain can be a fun and effective way to catch fish during the warm summer months and early fall.