Unlike many sports, fishing can be done rain or shine. As long as you’re up for whatever challenge the weather throws at you, you can get out on the water! That being said, some weather conditions may not be the best for fishing. So is fishing in the rain worth the trip?
Is It Good To Fish After It Rains?
The short answer is yes – fishing after rain usually leads to more bites. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to be ready to get out there as soon as the storm ends. Fish won’t stay super active for long after getting amped up by rain.
What Are The Benefits Of Fishing After Rain?
There are quite a few benefits to fishing after it rains.
- Fish are more active after hunkering down during the storm
- Runoff washes food into the water source, drawing out fish
- Murkier water after rain will make some fish more comfortable coming out of hiding
- Rain aerates the water and raises the amount of dissolved oxygen, making fish more active
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Is it Easier to Catch Fish After it Rains?
If you’re in the right place at the right time, and have the right gear, then yes – it can be easier to catch fish after it rains. That being said, you still need to use bait and lures that will appeal to the fish you’re going after. But you’ll have an easier time getting to the fish as they’re more active and will come out of hiding.
How Do You Catch Fish After Heavy Rain?
One of the most important parts of fishing after heavy rain is having the right gear – specifically, tackle. That means finding the best lures for where and what you’ll be fishing. Keep in mind that water conditions after a heavy rain will likely be dark and murky. That’s good for you as fish will have a harder time seeing you above the surface, but they’ll also have a harder time seeing your bait.
If you’re fishing a river, stream, or creek, look for areas where water is moving and shoring up. This is where potential food will come pouring down the chute, and fish will congregate in these areas waiting for it.
If you’re fishing a pond or lake (or any slow-moving water source), keep an eye out for activity. Fish are more likely to be out in deeper, open water at this time. They’ll be looking for food, but they may also be higher in the water column than usual as their swim bladders adjust to the water levels and pressure.
How Weather Impacts Fishing
Weather is huge when it comes to fishing, and while you might not expect it, some of the best fishing can happen before, during and after bad weather. Here’s a chart of a few different weather conditions and how it’ll affect fishing:
|Summer, hot weather, sunny||Low oxygen levels in the water slow down activity. Many fish will try and stay out of direct sunlight, finding shady areas.|
|Bad weather (storm) approaching; pre-rain||Barometric pressure (explained below) drops, triggering the prey drive. Fish may be aggressive and very active.|
|During rain||Most fish hunker down during a storm and will hide out or become inactive. Fish are not usually feeding at this point.|
|After rain||Water is murkier, potential prey is more available and swim bladders are adjusting. Fish will be easier to reach and actively feeding again.|
|Cold weather (sudden, change of season)||A difficult time to fish; fish slow down and are less interested in feeding.|
|Windy weather||Surprisingly, windy days can be great for fishing – especially big fish in salt water or estuaries. Wind stirs up the water column and bait fish, causing a feeding frenzy.|
What is Barometric Pressure?
Barometric pressure (also called atmospheric pressure) can be described as the “weight” of the air. Think of the air pressure in your tire, and how it presses against the rubber; it’s the same concept, just on a much larger scale. As barometric pressure increases, the air exerts more pressure on the earth (and water).
How Does Barometric Pressure Affect Fishing?
Fish have two areas of their body that are receptive to barometric pressure: their swim bladder and lateral line. The swim bladder can inflate or deflate depending on the fish’s needs, and affects a fish’s buoyancy in the water. When air pressure changes, the bladder’s pressure changes as well. This is why many fishermen claim to see fish at unusual levels of the water pressure after a storm – they’re still adjusting to the pressure change.
A fish’s lateral line, a system of sensory organs running lengthwise down each side of the body, can also detect pressure changes and movement. This is a sensitive organ and can feel even the smallest vibration in the water, for many fish, signaling that food is nearby.
Therefore when barometric pressure drops or rises, it changes how fish act – they may be more aggressive in seeking out prey as they feel the pressure change or they may move into areas they don’t usually frequent that are easier for fishermen to access.
What Is The Best Barometric Pressure for Fishing
“Normal” fishing usually takes place when the barometric pressure is between 29.70 and 30.40. FIsh will be biting and relatively active. In times of higher pressure (30.50+), fish slow down and hang out near coverage. When the pressure is low (less than 29.60) fish slow down again. Low pressure usually means it’s raining.
Therefore, ideal barometric pressure for fishing is anywhere from 29.70 to 30.40, or when the pressure is changing – inciting fish to move around more.
Barometric Pressure Fishing Cheat Sheet Chart
|HIGH||30.50+||Fish are moving slowly and seeking coverage|
|NORMAL||29.70 – 30.40||Ideal; fish are active and biting|
|LOW||> 29.60||Fish slow down again (usually rainy conditions)|
Apps to Look Up Barometric Pressure
There are a handful of helpful apps out there that anglers can use to look up barometric pressure in their area. Here’s a list of some of the apps with the best ratings:
- Barometer Plus – Altimeter
- My Barometer and Altimeter
- Professional Barometer
- Fishing Calendar, Solunar
Is Fishing Good Before a Storm?
Yes, fishing is often good just before a storm. This is because fish feel the change in barometric pressure as the storm moves in. They’ll be preparing for a few days of bad weather, when they won’t be active, so they’re looking to eat as much as they can.
Because water before a storm is often clear, you can go with your choice of bait and lures. Most fish will be on the move and ready to hit your line.
Best Lures Before Rain
The best types of lures to use before rain play directly to your species’ favorite prey. The water before a storm is clear, and fish on the move will be able to see your bait clearly. Use realistic lures that mimic live prey and focus on rigs with great action to draw attention. Smaller lures are fine for fishing before rain as they’ll be easy to notice.
Best Lures After Rain
After rain, the water will be murky and still settling. In these conditions it’s important to make sure fish notice your lures. Go for larger lures that are more eye-catching; flashers and spinners are a great idea. Get ready to jig and give as much action as you can to the lures. Fish will be ready to hit, but you’ll need to give them something obvious to hit on as the conditions won’t be best for visibility underwater.
If you’re up for a bit of bad weather, fishing before or after a storm can be a rewarding experience. Just remember to be safe out there and avoid areas with lightning and potential for storm damage. Thanks to barometric pressure and changes in water conditions, a storm can bring an influx of fish your way. Happy fishing!