Is Fishing Good In The Rain? [Bass, Surf, Pike & More]

Many anglers wonder, Is fishing in the rain good or bad? The answer is yes; fishing can be good in the rain. 

While you will find a lot of information about how horrible fishing is in the rain, you should probably not swallow that hook, line, and sinker.

The truth is fishing can be excellent in the rain, or it can be terrible. So what makes the difference between the two? Let’s explore those results.

In General, fishing in the rain can be very successful. However,you will need to use different equipment such as  bright color flies ( think chartreuse streamers), bright colored lures(if using a spinning rod) and stronger smelling baits (stinkier the better).

Any of these options are best in the rain. Why all the changes? Let’s find out why brighter colors and stinky baits work best in the rain.

Is bass fishing good in the rain?

Yes, bass fishing is good in the rain, but you need to modify how you fish for bass when it is raining. Bass hunt by sight and smell, which means you need to change to brightly colored flies or lures or bait with a more robust scent trail.

Is trout fishing good in the rain?

Much like bass, trout fishing can be excellent in the rain. Rain washes a lot of food and debris into the water, especially during heavy rains. Also, the water becomes full of turbidity, so fish like bass and trout that hunt by sight need a little help finding your hook. 

Dress your hook with brighter colors or switch to reds, yellows, chartreuse, and hot pink lures or flies. When not hunting by sight, trout and bass hunt by scent. If you fish with bait, dress the hook with strong-smelling bait, such as egg patterns.

Is Carp Fishing good in the Rain?

Carp fishing is excellent in the rain. Carp are night-feeders, so most of how they hunt are by smell or movement. The brightly colored lures and flies you use for bass and trout are not practical here. Instead, switch to stronger scented bait balls that carp can easily find. The strong-smelling the bait, the thicker the scent trail it leaves. Carp will follow the trail right to your hook.

Is Surf fishing good in the rain?

Surf fishing is excellent in the rain. The incoming storm often means the waves pick up and the wind speeds increase. There can be added turbidity too. Another benefit is that there are fewer anglers out fishing. 

Plus, the choppy water makes for a safer environment for saltwater fish species to feed near the shore. Those include perch, bluefish, striped bass, and even larger trophy fish such as King Mackerel. Stinky bait is the key, and it makes it easier for any fish species to find your hook in murky water.

Is Pike Fishing Good in the Rain?

Pike fishing gets better in the rain. Rain drives smaller fish into sheltering places such as submerged weed patches. It also can wash small rodents into the water. A dry mouse fly over a weedy patch will educe a Northern Pike to strike. 

Likewise, a minnow lure in a weedy area of the lake will attract northern pike. If you are new to fishing for northern pike in weedy patches, use a hook guard to keep the hook out of the weeds. A stainless steel leader is also a critical tool for fishing for northern pike.

Is Saltwater fishing good in the rain?

Saltwater fishing gets better in the rain. Bigger saltwater fish hunt using a variety of ways. Those include sight, vibration, and scent. 

In the rain, the distance a fish can see in the water decreases, so they switch to vibrational and scent hunting. A bottom jig with a twister adds the vibration that draws in hunting fish. Add bright colors to the jig, and you can battle fish all day long.

How Rain Affects Your Fishing

Rain affects fishing. Many anglers will tell you that fishing in the rain is terrible. However, fishing can be excellent before a storm and as the barometric pressure falls. Many fish sense or feel that change in pressure, and it stimulates them to forage or hunt for food. So, fishing before a big storm is often exceptional.

The rain, however, changes the environment for both the angler and the fish. If you do not adjust to those changes, the fish will likely not respond. Rain affects your fishing by:

  1. Making it more difficult for fish to visual forage for food
  2. Making the water rough or fast-moving, which causes the fish to seek shelter.
  3. Causing the water to become murky and full of turbidity

These three physical changes mean you have to reevaluate how you fish. The advantage is that fish cannot see you if the water is murky. That is a big plus if you target fish that have excellent eyesight.

What Happens As The Rain Starts?

When the rain starts, things change – Primarily, the visual aspects of the water. Bass and Trout, which have excellent eyesight, will find it difficult to look outside the water column. The rain causes the surface of the water to dimple and become hazed. It would be like you trying to read the newspaper with your glasses fogged. As a result, these fish species find it harder to hunt for surface foods such as insects.

For sight hunters, the action slows down during the rain. That is why you switch to brighter color flies or lures of stinky baits. The other thing that happens as the barometric pressure falls is that the rain usually gets more challenging. As more rain hits the land, it runs off into the water making the water cloudy. Now, the fish have a hard time seeing within the water column, and the fishing gets slower.

While that process sounds like a bad time to fish, it is a more significant opportunity. Along with the increase in turbidity, a tremendous amount of food washes into the water. As a result, insects fall into the water, or as the water speed increases due to the runoff, aquatic insects have washed off rocks and into the water.

Water temperature and Fishing

Because fish cannot regulate their body temperature, they rely on the surrounding water to help them remain warm or cool. So as you move deeper into the ocean or a lake, the water temperature drops. That fact means:

  1. When the weather is cold and it is raining, slow down. Their body and metabolism also slow down, and their need to feed decreases, so they hunt less. That is why anglers will tell you that fishing in the rain is terrible. What they do not tell you is that you can switch targets and fishing styles.
  2. In deeper water such as lakes, the fish will change position to a level of water where the temperature suits them. Instead of fishing being bad in the rain, wise anglers target different areas of the water column.

Note: The water column is the vertical drop and ascent of the water from the bottom to the surface. In lakes, the water column can be hundreds of feet deep or a few meters. In the ocean, the depth of the water column changes based on the boat’s position from shore. Therefore, understanding water depth is a crucial factor in fishing in all kinds of weather.

Is Fishing Better When it’s Raining?

How we answer the question, Is fishing better when it is raining, depends on how flexible an angler you are. If you don’t mind being out in the wet and are willing to change how you approach fishing, then fishing can be better when it is raining.

Is fishing in the rain good or bad?

Fishing in the rain is good. But, unfortunately, many anglers fail at fishing in the rain because they don’t adjust how they fish.

The key is to address the issues that fish have while it is raining, and there are a few things to consider:

  1. Fish experience decreased depth of vision during the rain. They either cannot see past the surface, or the water becomes murky, and they cannot see within the water column or both.
  2. Fish also experience drops in water temperatures during the rain, especially in spring, fall, and winter rainstorms. Colder water means fish are more sluggish, and their drive to hunt and feed also decreases.
  3. Fish experience faster water flow with heavier rains as more water enters rivers and lakes or storms cause the ocean to become rougher. What this means is you have to look for fish in other locations because they tend to hide behind objects, such as sunken logs or boulders, to shelter from the faster-moving water.

How do you address poor visibility in the water column?

When the water is full of turbidity – small particles – you have to change how you attract fish to your hook in one of two ways.

  1. Go bright – brighter colors are easier for fish to find in murky water. Yellows, reds, chartreuse, oranges, vibrant pinks, and even purples are all options when the water is murky. Change up that drab, neutral bead nymph by opting for a chartreuse naiad or a vibrant pink streamer. The difference in color means the fish will see the fly or lure in the murky water if you are fishing with bait; the stinkier, the better. Fish will find stinky bait in murky water because it leaves such a potent scent trail in the water.
  2. Do a little research into the optimal water temperature for whatever type of fish you are targeting. If you are fishing in a lake or saltwater, you can use a fish finder with depth data to help. Look for those deeper holes in a river as the temperature will be more stable, even if the water is cold. When you dial in the correct depth, adjust your leader to target the fish.
  3. If the water is flowing quickly and cold, toss your lure or fly out behind the leeway side of objects. If there is a big boulder in the middle of the stream, the water directly behind the boulder will be slower. Fish will congregate in slower water because it takes less of their energy to fight the current. Submerged logs, submerged rocks, and other structures under the water will slow down the current. Those areas make the best locations for fishing in the rain. In the ocean, you can find warmer water around structures like oil or gas rigs.

These tricks to successfully fishing in the rain help turn a soggy day on the lake into a fishing adventure you will remember.

Do fish bite while it’s raining?

Absolutely, fish bite while it is raining. Fish, like other wild creatures, are opportunistic feeders. They will take a meal where one presents itself. Small fish, where are often the target of big fish, will also hide during storms. 

They head for weedy beds or will sink into the space between boulders. As you approach a fishing location, look for weed patches or areas where there are a lot of rocks. Where you find smaller fish, you find larger fish.

Is fishing good during the rain?

Fishing during the rain is fantastic. The need to feed does not decrease for fish during a rainstorm. If you want to test this out; Drop a minnow lure into a weed patch along the lake or a hook with a strong-smelling bait, and you might be surprised by a trophy trout, bass, or other large fish. Northern Pike is a notorious fish for hanging out around submerged weedy beds.

Should I go fishing in the rain?

Absolutely you should. The best time to fish is just before a storm as the fish are super active and the water temperature is still warm. Then, when it rains, you need only switch your tactics to keep the fishing active hot. 

Is fishing good after the rain?

Fishing after the rain is also an excellent time to target big fish. For all the fish that did not feed during the rain, much smaller baitfish become ravished and begin to feed. Smaller fish draw in bigger fish, and after the rain is a perfect time to target trophy fish in saltwater or freshwater.

Concluding Thoughts

The art of fishing is all about persuasion. You are persuading a fish to strike a hook. When it is raining, the art of persuading a fish to play is a bit more challenging. 

Once you understand how the environment changes for both the angler and the fish when it rains, you can adjust your game to target fish on their terms. 

Go bright. Go deeper. Go stinky. Those three tricks even out the playing field, so you can target big fish in rivers, lakes, and saltwater settings, when in heavy rain.

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