Whether it’s the opening day of Trout season or a 3/4 day on a Party Boat at the Jersey Shore weather can make or break the day. But if you can catch a break, there is a window of opportunity before or after the storm most anglers believe it just might be the best time to go fishing. Why is Fishing better before, during, and after a Rainstorm?
Fish sense & react to all 3 changes in Barometric Pressure ensuring successful fishing before, during & after rain because
Cool H2O temperatures giving energy to fish
Add Oxygen to the water bringing most fish to the top
Wash insects & baitfish to the surface making them available for food
Salt or freshwater fishing tends to improve before rainstorm activity starts or directly following rainy weather activity afterward. If you ask 100 guys with their lines in the water everyone has an opinion. But most feel differently. What would you expect from a bunch of guys who stand in the rain all day to catch a fish?
What Barometric Pressure is Best for Fishing?
When the air in one region is warmer than the surrounding air it becomes less dense and begins to rise drawing more air in from underneath it. Elsewhere cooler denser air sinks pushing air outward to flow along the surface and complete the cycle. The constant movement of these accumulations of air is called Fronts.
Some Anglers know to fish these Fronts because of the activity of fish during the space in time right before a storm comes through the area. This is why the weather can change so fast. Fish sense weather and the danger it brings so they gorge themselves during this window in time. The bigger the storm the bigger the change in pressure the more active the fish.
Fish tend to react to the smallest drop in barometer pressure. The most interesting fact is that barometric pressure isn’t important it’s the direction in which the barometric pressure is heading–rising or falling that determines how successful the fishing will be. Rising Barometric pressure shut the fish off and dropping pressure turns the fish on improving your catch success.
A Digital Barometer with a plotting function to keep track of pressure changes can chart the direction of the storm and the activity of the fish. The best time to be on the lake or ocean is when there is a drop-in barometric pressure that occurs as a low-pressure system approaches. The intensity of the bite often increases as the pressure drops, occasionally right through to the end of the storm.
Falling Pressure/Degrading Weather – Best Fishing
When the barometric pressure is falling, the weather degrades; this provides the best fishing environment. No need to worry about not getting enough bites. The fish are likely to feed on anything that becomes available to them!
Rising Pressure/Improving Weather – Fish are Slightly Active
As the barometric pressure rises, the weather keeps improving with it. At this rate, the bass becomes slightly active. It is recommended that you try striking them at a slower pace and in deeper waters or near covers where they’re hiding.
Research studies with students who were targeting bluegills and largemouth bass have documented an 80 percent to nearly 100 percent correlation between rising pressure and below-average catch-per-effort rates for a given trip. Regardless of High or Low-pressure fish still got to eat and fall into predictable eating patterns but this scientific approach has a good track record and is used by professionals in the sport.
Is it Good to Fish after it Rains?
Rising Barometric Pressure and Bad Fishing is, even more, a stronger relationship than Low Pressure and good fishing. When a Cold Front moves in after a storm prey and predatory fish tend to move to deeper water or hide in thicker cover where they are difficult to catch. Running plugs, jigs, or lures around structures could be the best way to deal with it. Track your fishing with an outdoor JUENG Spovan Multifunction Men White Sports Alarm Altimeter Fishing Quartz Watches Electronic Fishing Barometer
A successful Angler or really any good Outdoorsman is aware and schooled in the weather for their success or lack of it. If you are experiencing a lucky day before a rainstorm it might not be because it rained, but because a front passed through. If a weather front comes through after a hard rain and the skies turn blue, the odds are against if the rain is followed by bright sunny conditions.
There are elements that change after a rainstorm in a lake or river
- Rain can change the water temperature
- Lures and presentation that were working under darker skies won’t work under brighter ones
- Runoff after a good rain can factor in the color of the water
- Some lake fish like the bass will look for the edge of the mud line where the runoff muddied the water and where the water is clear.
- Clearwater could be found in the shallows or feeder creeks around the lake.
- Right after a storm is a good time to fish surface water where the runoff carries insects, frogs, and other small prey, bringing the fish closer to the surface, banks and feeder creeks, and rivers.
Fishing after rain can either hurt or help. It can go either way the study the lake use common sense f the water is rising fish will move to shallows and clear water. If the water is falling fish will move out deeper don’t you might want to use brighter noisier baits if the water muddies up whereas more natural or subtle colors can be used in clearer water that all depends on how much or how hard the rain comes down.
In the autumn the surface of the lake could be warmer than the lower levels. With a hard rain, the lake could turn-over and stop fish from biting for days. Along with the hard rain, may come some thunder and lightning that will also stop fish activity after spooking the fish.
Fishing In The Rain Tips
It not hard to explain why fishing sucks during a rainstorm. If you have been on the surf for Striper you know exactly what I’m talking about. Cold, Wind your hands frozen to your reel. That doesn’t mean the Striper don’t dig it, in fact, that’s when I’ve caught my share in that type of late Fall weather. They ain’t waiting on them. You’re waiting for them. Suit up stay dry and stay warm and you got this. Always be prepared.
Trout fishing in the rain can be productive as it triggers activity in them:
- Adds Oxygen to the surface of a Lake
- Washes bugs insects and flies from the banks into the water- a smorgasbord for Trout and Bass.
- The normal lake or smaller river runs fairly warm and hard rain will cool down the temperatures that will trigger most of the fish into higher energy levels that will give them an opportunity to feed.
- Gets other boaters off the water so the fishing pressure drops way down.
Bass Fishing In The Rain
Surface runoff drains nutrients into the water, which can attract baitfish that can attract Bass so watch for any drainage moving into the lake or river usually along the banks, culverins or creek inlets where there are some hiding places where they will be hiding out.
With no sun and raining hard the Bass will likely be on the move spreading his territory and looking for a fast meal. Use a Topwater Bait because of this reason the bass and other predatory fish will roaming and there will be a better chance of him hitting it. Bass like to stage up at ambush point to wait for smaller baitfish and insects that are being dragged out of cover by the current created by the rain. Think like they do wait for dinner to come to you.
If you’re fishing in the rain and throwing a spinnerbait, keep burning it. Same with a worm if you are fishing in the rain and throwing a worm don’t soak it as long. The fish are more aggressive during the rain, so you shouldn’t need to work as hard to make them bite. Fish in and out of current and as shallow as you can.
According to Kevin VanDam of Bassmasters, From a fishing standpoint, it can really provoke bass into biting, especially if you can get on the water ahead of the storm (but be off it before dangerous weather moves in!). Forthcoming storms will send the barometer into a tizzy and trigger feeding periods.
But even better fishing can occur after it’s rained. That influx of freshwater pouring into a lake that’s been ravaged by drought conditions can really invigorate the bass into biting.
The best area could be where the water is cut off from the main lake in a tube, feeder stream it will confine the Bass to a smaller area and most of the time these smaller tubes are clear of any mud or cloudiness. In a hard rain, bass, as well as baitfish, come to the surface to breathe the fresh and cooler water. This gives them a burst of energy and they go into feeding mode fishing can be good very good.
Fishing is more about knowledge than luck when fishing in the rain a lot of old-timers who I always listen to and get the best advice to say that the fishing in the rain involves Food, Temperature, and oxygen which are the fishes basic needs. These 3 Fish basics will tell you that if they are there the fish are there.
All anglers have their favorite time to fish in the rain or when to fish in the tide. With Rain, it’s before during or after. If you have a fishing barometer you can see when the warm front is coming in and this when it will trigger fish bites. When you’re on the fish before the rain and during the Rain then it agitates the fish in that spot and brings bigger fish up to the surface.
By Staining the surface after the storm it will keep your bait from being identified in cleaner water. Fish the mud lines that we talked about in this article. Figure out after the rainstorm where will the fish occupy themselves to take advantage of the situation. Where will fish position themselves after the rainstorm? After the Front comes in and rain develops, the rain that falls is always colder in temperature than the water in the body of water.
Does Lake Fishing Change After a Rainstorm
In a Lake after a Rainstorm, a hard and long rainfall the colder rainwater creates a column of dense heavier colder water that will start to sink through the warmer column of water underneath and when it reaches the bottom of the body of water kicks up all the sediment that has been collecting there. This makes the bottom murky and cloudy for many feet off the bottom that used to be clear.
This is where a large population of fish used to call home but now the layer of colder water has made it impossible to live in even for fish. It’s irritating and gets in their gills make it impossible to smell, see, and feel along with not being able to breathe.
These spots will be near inflows and won’t be any good for fishing after the cool front moves in and pushes the storm away. Where you need to fish in this scenario is the safe zone where predatory used in the worse part of a storm.
This will have permanent structures that are used for safety like drop-offs, ledges, and rocks that will give some protection during initial changes from a front especially between season and temperature drops where the predatory fish can use a home for a while and crash for a bit while the season changes and fronts come and leave. Once you find this spot use your cell and google map it and look for spots that are on the body of water that is similar to that one.
Saltwater Fishing in the Rain
In the Ocean, after a Rainstorm, Many anglers on the saltwater fish side also believe it’s the before side of the storm that is the best. Especially in the summer before a cold front moves in. They believe the fish feel the difference in barometric pressure as the front moves in, the pressure drops and it triggers a feeding frenzy. According to where I lived on the Jersey coast, the fish sense bad weather is coming much like other animals so they eat while the eating is good.
Not knowing where the next meal is going to come from. Many also believe that during and after a storm fishing is not good as the water is turbid and cloudy so fish cannot even see the most attractive bait.
The ocean water is so much deeper than inland water that rain would never change the temperature or fall to the bottom in a column. Still, the ocean churns up from movement. With cloudy, muddy water, predatory fish get shut down. Hurricanes can also kick up dirt and sand in shallow seas. Which can kill fish by clogging their gills just like in a lake or river? Marine Biologist believes this is probably one of the factors that killed an estimated 9.4 million saltwater fish in 1992, during Hurricane Andrew.
Boat Captains at least the ones I know will usually also shut down and most turn back into shore. Some don’t leave to begin with if there is a storm Front forecasted for the area. Think about it. Fishing on a lake or stream is one thing to try and test these theories about low barometric pressure. When you are an owner of a 250,000 dollar boat 20 miles out on the ocean with maybe 50 passengers on board, there is nothing to think about. Head in the first sign a Front is moving in.
Read my article on What Causes the Constant Changes in Weather here in MyWaterEarth&Sky. I explain what Fronts do and how they change weather patterns around the world.