Fishing in the Rain
If you’re fishing in a river with levels running high and temperature cold, fresh rain may do little more than produce a soggy trip. A river that’s on the dry side can produce fish that respond with gusto to their expanding habitat, sending them darting for the buffet of food now washing over them in the run-off.In lakes, rain also helps to freshen the water by re-oxygenating the surrounding area and can re-energize previously inactive fish. In addition, impaired visibility yields blind, yet busy fish ready to hit an extra-large spinner; as long as you can get them to see it.Advice for Fishing in the Rain
- Don’t skimp on the raingear.
- It doesn’t matter how tough you are, freezing your buns off is crazy in this world of high-tech gear made for the rain. Leave the $2 emergency ponchos in the glove box and put on layers. You want a thick, waterproof, hooded jacket and pair of fleece-lined pants, waterproof boots, a great pair of socks and lined gloves for dexterity. You should be able to stay warm as well as dry and comfortable.
- Seek pockets of clear water.
- Lakes can become chocolate soups of sediment, dumped by the rain, as inlets drain the water. If you happen to be at a feeder creek, hit the surrounding area quickly before the mud gathers, as that creek is dropping loads of goodies onto the fish below.
- Focus on the top water.
- Top water lures can catch a bunch of fish when it’s raining. Fish often roam around during the rain; and, for reasons we still don’t quite understand, also chase bait longer and faster when it is raining.
- Get in there.
- There’s less concern for spooking fish, thanks to the impaired visibility. Getting close will further help you drop a line where you want it.
- Trace the wind.
- If baitfish are in play and the wind has been blowing, you’re probably going to find more baitfish on the downwind side of the water.
- Vary your lures.
- Rain changes a fish’s routine. Changing their routine makes them do things they don’t normally do. Play with your selection and switch your bait often.
- Avoid the warmth.
- This is in regard to the water, not your raingear. If you’re in a place where warm rain is falling on an already warm lake, the surface can become pretty inactive. You’ll want to seek out fish in deeper waters. The exception would be a rare warm rain during a colder part of the year, which could see fish activity rise with the temperature.
Now you’re “geared up” correctly and there’s plenty of reasons to break out the tackle box as the weather turns. Our lawyers say we have to remind you to avoid fishing in lightning storms or flood zones, but we’re pretty sure our readers are smart enough to know how to be safe when fishing. However, just in case, look for our upcoming articles on the specifics of safety when fishing over the next few months.
When you are dressed appropriately, fishing in the rain can be a wonderful as well as successful adventure.