Fishing in the Rain: Why It’s the Best Time to Fish

Recreational fishing is slowly becoming one of the most prominent outdoor activities for both the older and younger generations.

And I mean, who doesn’t love fishing? Although some people only view it as a hobby, it enables you to forge patience and spend quality time with your family and friends.

However, anyone who decides to plan a fishing trip usually checks the weather report beforehand.

Most people tend to go fishing when the weather is nice, and there is plenty of sunlight. What about when it rains? Believe it or not, fishing in the rain is quite thrilling and offers many opportunities.

Rain can be annoying to many people, but experience has shown that some of the best fish are caught when it rains.

It can also be more fun because it adds a wow factor to the situation. So with that said, let’s talk about the benefits of fishing in the rain!

fishing at lake

Benefits of Fishing in the Rain

Increased Catching Opportunities

Slight rain breaks the water surfaces of lakes, swamps, and ponds, which reduces the vision of fish. Therefore, your presence can go unnoticed by the fish, enabling you to get closer to certain fishing spots without scaring them away.

Also, runoff washes algae, worms, and insects into the rain, which makes it easier for fish to confuse a lure with real bait. They bite more frequently, allowing you to catch more fish than you usually do.

More Presence of Fish

Most fish shelter themselves in the depths of algae forests, or at the bottom of lakes and swamps to avoid predators, and only come out sporadically to feed.

However, rain disrupts topwater and leads to sediment build-up. This causes the water to become murky and muddy, which stimulates fish to leave their hiding spots.

They’re much more active and roam around with less precaution. So the number of fish schools increase, therefore improving your chances of catching more.

Some experts also believe that hefty rains boost the amount of oxygen in water, which increases the fish’s vitality, and enables them to swim for longer periods on topwater.

Even more, baitfish are more present and it stimulates certain fish, like bass and trout, to prey on them. Some fishermen have even seen bass fish jumping out of the water trying to catch live bait.

Speaking of jumping, check out this article on why carp jump out of the water.

Lucrative Fishing Spots

Remember that surface runoff brings insects, worms, and nutrients into swamps and lakes, which draws fish to certain locations. These locations become feeding spots and begin to harbor large quantities of fish.

Therefore, it’s recommended to fish on places, such as mud lines, creek inlets, tributaries, and eddies, as they contain both baitfish and larger types, like trout.

Less Competition

Most fishermen prefer to only fish when it’s raining, simply because it’s much less busy. This way, the once crowded swamp or lake is empty and free for you to capture fish at your own leisure.

Some fishermen even try out new lures or baits to improve their fishing abilities.

Catch Bigger Fish

Some fish tend to be more active when it rains because they feed more vigorously to withstand colder temperatures and harsher weather conditions.

Even more, some fish prepare themselves to reproduce and increase their sizes to attract more potential mates, particularly during Autumn. For this reason, you’re able to encounter certain fish, like carp, that have reached their maximum size just weeks before Winter.

The “After the Storm” Effect

Most fish take shelter in estuaries or into the depths to wait out for any storm or natural disaster to end. However, as soon as the rain diminishes, they reappear vehemently in search of food since their energy tanks are low.

This makes it easier for fish to bite your lure and reeling them in, since they have little strength to fight against you.

fishing tips

Tips for Fishing in the Rain

Look for the Clearest Water Available

As rainwater flows through the land, it collects the sediments and dumps them into the lakes and ponds. Therefore, a crystal-clear lake rapidly turns into a muddy mess.

This can drastically reduce your fishing experience, so you must search for clearer fishing spots available. If the lake is pretty extensive, it’s advised to move away from main streams and springs, since faraway areas contain clearer water.

Test your Lures

Fishing in the rain often requires trial and error. Some lures and techniques that are effective on a given river or lake may not work in the rain. I find that Buzzbait, or any top water lure will do the job just fine.

If you’re not sure what type of fishing reels to use, I’ve got a great informative guide here.

Follow the Wind

Sometimes, it’s quite difficult to find fish when it’s raining because it disrupts their normal patterns. This causes fish to be located in places that are not often suspected.

However, if you do encounter baitfish, it’s almost certain that there are some bass nearby. Usually, small fish tend to be dragged by water currents, which are influenced by wind patterns.

You can find unconventional fishing spots if you determine the wind flow. Some fish also use streams and windbreaks as resting places to avoid the forces of nature.

Take into Consideration the Water Temperature

Rain greatly affects water temperature, which also affects fish numbers. For instance, a cold front during spring or summer, lowers the water temperature and encourages fish to come out and feed.

Therefore, it can give an edge and better catch rates, if you fish when the water temperature is low.

What to Wear When Fishing in the Rain

Always try to stay dry and warm when fishing. It’s best to invest in high-quality rain gear that will protect you from the heaviest rains. Avoid emergency ponchos, and resort to waterproof jackets.

Ideally, your clothes should be lightweight and breathable to improve comfort and flexibility. Some rain gear is built with polyurethane (PU), which is a waterproofing substance.

Therefore, selecting clothes, such as uppers, pants, and rain suits, that contain polyurethane will keep you dry. Even more, cross-functional gear is a great option because they offer features like wind protection. Try to also wear waterproof boots as they keep your feet dry at all times.

Keep in mind the following features when choosing your rain gear:

  • Airflow: Some gear has front and back holes that provide proper ventilation for improved comfort.
  • Zipper Tips: It’s best to use jackets and pants with single or double storm flaps, as they shield rain and wind better.
  • Pockets: If you prefer to carry items in your jacket and pants, it’s recommended to have the pockets on the outside. This will ensure a better range of motion and looser fitting.
  • Seam construction: Although some gear is made with waterproof properties, non-woven garments are stitched with normal seams, and water can leak through these areas. Therefore, you must find gear that contains seams made with a waterproof adhesive to avoid leakage.

fly fishing in rain

Fly Fishing in the Rain

It’s an excellent opportunity to try out fly fishing while it rains. The raindrops can disrupt the water surfaces and camouflage yourself from the fish.

Another advantage is that nutrients are washed into the lakes, which makes fish like mackerel and bass appear. I usually find fish go on an eating frenzy just before it rains.

Never try to fish during heavy rain because your casts can act like lightning rods, which can turn any fishing adventure into a nightmare.

Heavy disturbances also frighten fish and cause them to take shelter. Therefore, you’ll not able to catch any fish even if you try. You should always prioritize your safety and it’s best to keep yourself in a safe location if a heavy storm or thunder begins to form.

Nathan Barker

My wife and I are huge adventure seekers! We've traveled and explored over 40 countries and want to share what we have learned on our journey. We'll be talking about everything from hiking and camping, to guides, reviews and tips that we're sure will help any avid adventurer no matter what walk of life. So relax, grab a cup of coffee and we hope you enjoy the read!