Do Fish Bite in the Rain? Angling Tips for Wet Weather

Fishing in the rain can be both productive and enjoyable, provided you have the right knowledge and techniques.

In this article, we will explore the behavior of fish during rainy conditions, the best times to fish in the rain, essential gear for wet weather fishing, tactics to attract fish in murky rainwater, finding hotspots in the rain, adapting your fishing technique to wet weather, safety considerations, and more.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, these angling tips for wet weather will help you make the most out of your fishing trips.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding fish behavior in the rain can improve your chances of success.
  • Fishing before and after a storm can be particularly productive.
  • Make sure to check and follow the fishing licenses and regulations in your state.
  • Choosing the right gear, such as waterproof clothing and visibility accessories, is crucial for a comfortable experience.
  • Using tactics like selecting bright colors and noise-producing lures can attract fish in murky rainwater.

Understanding Fish Behavior During Rainy Conditions

Fishing in the rain can have a significant impact on fish behavior. Two key factors to consider are the low barometric pressure and surface disruption caused by rain. Understanding how these factors influence fish feeding habits can help you determine the best fishing techniques to use during rainy conditions.

Impact of Low Barometric Pressure on Fish Appetite

Before a storm, the barometric pressure often drops. This decrease in pressure can trigger a feeding frenzy among fish. The low barometric pressure affects fish in multiple ways, including their swim bladder and lateral line system. These changes make fish more active and eager to feed, increasing your chances of a successful catch.

Surface Disruption and its Influence on Fish Feeding Habits

Rainfall causes surface disruption in bodies of water, creating ripples and disturbances. This can make it harder for fish to see baits and lures. In murky or stained water conditions, the visibility of prey is reduced even further. Additionally, raindrops create vibrations on the water’s surface, which can alert fish to the presence of potential prey.

While surface disruption can make fishing more challenging, it also presents opportunities. Fish are more likely to be near the surface during rain, making them more accessible to anglers. Additionally, fish may be more willing to strike at topwater lures that create commotion and mimic the sound of raindrops hitting the water.

By understanding the impact of low barometric pressure and surface disruption on fish feeding habits, you can tailor your fishing techniques to optimize your chances of a successful catch in rainy conditions.

The Best Times to Fish in the Rain

Timing is crucial when it comes to fishing in the rain. Understanding the best times to fish can significantly increase your chances of a successful catch. In this section, we will explore two prime fishing opportunities during rainy conditions: fishing before the storm and post-storm fishing. Let’s dive in!

Fishing Before the Storm

Fishing before a storm can be highly productive as fish tend to feed more aggressively in low barometric pressure. As the storm approaches, the drop in atmospheric pressure signals fish to increase their feeding activity, making it an ideal time to cast your line. The anticipation of impending rain creates a sense of urgency for fish, causing them to become more active and hungry.

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During this time, it’s essential to take advantage of the fish’s heightened feeding behavior. Using lures or bait that mimic natural prey, such as small insects or minnows, can be highly effective. Look for areas near cover, such as fallen trees or weed beds, where fish may seek shelter and ambush their prey. Be prepared to adjust your fishing techniques as fish may be more willing to strike at faster retrieved baits or lures.

Post-Storm Fishing Opportunities

Once the storm has passed, post-storm fishing can provide excellent opportunities to reel in some impressive catches. After periods of heavy rain, water levels may rise, causing fish to move into shallower areas in search of food that has been washed into the water. Additionally, the rainwater runoff can introduce nutrients and oxygen into the water, creating an ideal environment for fish to feed.

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During this time, it’s essential to target areas where the rainwater runoff enters the body of water, such as inflows, culverts, or streams. These areas act as natural feeding zones where fish gather to take advantage of the increased food availability. Using bait or lures that imitate the washed-up debris, such as worms or small crayfish, can be highly effective in attracting fish.

Post-storm fishing provides an opportunity to target both aggressive feeding fish and those that are more cautious. As the water begins to clear, fish may become more selective in their feeding habits. Experimenting with different baits and lures to match the natural prey in the area can help increase your chances of success.

Remember to prioritize safety during these fishing opportunities. Check weather forecasts before heading out and be prepared for rapid weather changes. Keep an eye on the skies for signs of approaching storms and ensure you have a safe shelter nearby in case of lightning or other hazardous conditions.

To help you visualize the best times to fish in the rain, refer to the table below:

Fishing OpportunityTiming
Fishing Before the StormAs the storm approaches and just before it hits
Post-Storm FishingAfter the storm has passed and water levels start to recede
best times to fish in the rain

Now that you know the best times to fish in the rain, let’s move on to the next section which will focus on fishing licenses and regulations across states. Understanding the legal requirements will ensure you have a smooth and enjoyable angling adventure. Stay tuned!

Fishing Licenses and Regulations Across States

Before heading out for a wet weather angling adventure, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the fishing licenses and regulations in your state. Each state has its own set of rules and regulations regarding fishing, so make sure you’re compliant to avoid any legal issues.

StateFishing License RequirementsAdditional Fishing Regulations
TexasEvery angler aged 17 and older must have a valid fishing license.Special regulations apply to certain bodies of water, such as size and bag limits for certain species.
FloridaA fishing license is required for residents and non-residents aged 16 and older.Specific rules apply to saltwater fishing, such as size and bag limits for various species.
CaliforniaAll individuals aged 16 and older must have a valid fishing license in freshwater and saltwater.Additional restrictions apply to fishing in specific areas, including marine protected areas.
New YorkFishing licenses are required for individuals aged 16 and older, both residents and non-residents.Specific rules exist for certain species, seasons, and regions within the state.
MichiganResidents and non-residents aged 17 and older must have a valid fishing license.There are different regulations for freshwater fishing and Great Lakes fishing.

Make sure to visit the official website of your state’s wildlife agency or department of natural resources to get detailed information on fishing licenses, fees, and specific regulations. It is crucial to stay up to date with any changes in fishing regulations to ensure you’re abiding by the laws and protecting fish populations for future generations.

Essential Gear for a Wet Weather Angling Adventure

H3: Choosing the Right Waterproof Clothing

Fishing in wet weather requires appropriate gear to ensure comfort and protection from the elements. One essential item is waterproof clothing, which keeps you dry even in heavy rain. When choosing waterproof clothing, consider the following factors:

  • Material: Look for fabrics such as Gore-Tex or nylon that have waterproof and breathable properties, allowing moisture to escape while keeping rain out.
  • Seams: Ensure the clothing has sealed seams to prevent water from seeping through the stitching.
  • Fit: Opt for gear that provides a comfortable and unrestricted range of motion, allowing you to move freely while casting and reeling in fish.
  • Layering: Consider the option to layer your clothing for added warmth in colder, rainy conditions. A waterproof jacket paired with a fleece or thermal base layer can provide insulation.

Investing in high-quality waterproof clothing will keep you dry and comfortable throughout your wet weather fishing adventures, enabling you to focus on catching fish instead of battling the rain.

H3: The Importance of Visibility and Safety Accessories

In addition to waterproof clothing, visibility and safety accessories are crucial for a safe and enjoyable wet weather fishing experience. These accessories not only increase your visibility to other boaters and anglers but also enhance your overall safety on the water. Consider including the following items in your gear:

  • Life Jacket: Wearing a properly fitted and Coast Guard-approved life jacket is essential for your safety, especially in inclement weather and rough water conditions.
  • Floatation Device Locator: Attach a floatation device locator to your jacket for added safety and ease of locating you in the event of an emergency.
  • Waterproof Bag: Keep your valuables, such as your phone, wallet, and camera, in a waterproof bag or case to protect them from water damage.
  • High-Visibility Hat or Cap: Choose a hat or cap in a bright color or with reflective accents to increase your visibility to others.
  • Reflective Gear: Wear reflective clothing or accessories, such as vests or armbands, to enhance your visibility during low-light conditions.

By incorporating these visibility and safety accessories into your gear, you’ll prioritize your well-being and minimize potential risks while enjoying your wet weather fishing trips.

Essential Gear for Wet Weather FishingWaterproof ClothingVisibility AccessoriesSafety Accessories
Material: Gore-Tex or nylonLife JacketLife Jacket LocatorWaterproof Bag
Sealed seamsFloatation Device LocatorHigh-Visibility Hat or CapReflective Gear
Comfortable fit   
Layering options   

Do Fish Bite in the Rain?

Many anglers wonder if fish bite in the rain. The answer is a resounding yes! Rainy conditions can actually make fishing quite productive. To better understand why fish are still willing to bite during a downpour, let’s delve into their behavior and feeding habits in rainy weather.

When it rains, there are a few factors that come into play. First, rainwater can wash insects and other food sources into the water, creating an abundant food supply for fish. This increased availability of prey can trigger feeding activity, making fish more eager to bite.

Furthermore, rain can create surface disturbance in the water, making it harder for fish to see fishing baits and lures. In response, fish may rely more on their other senses, such as their sense of smell or vibrations in the water, to locate and strike at potential prey.

It’s also worth noting that during a rain shower, there may be a decrease in fishing pressure as some anglers choose to stay indoors. With fewer competitors, fish may be more comfortable and less wary, making them more likely to bite.

Understanding how fish respond to rain is essential for adapting your fishing technique. By selecting the right lures and adjusting your presentation, you can increase your chances of enticing fish to bite in wet weather conditions.

“Fishing in the rain is an opportunity to catch fish that are less likely to encounter heavy fishing pressure. They may be more receptive to biting during these conditions.”

fish bite in the rain


Finding Hotspots: Where to Cast Your Line in the Rain

Knowing where to cast your line is crucial for a successful wet weather fishing trip. In this section, we will discuss how to identify active feeding zones near inflow sources and provide strategies for fishing windblown shorelines, which are often productive areas during rainy conditions.

Identifying Active Feeding Zones Near Inflow Sources

During rainfall, inflow sources such as creeks, rivers, and tributaries become important hotspots for fish. These areas act as natural feeding zones, as the sudden inflow of freshwater brings along food particles and other organic matter that attract fish. Look for distinctive features such as riffles, eddies, and current breaks in these inflow sources, as they create turbulence that concentrates baitfish and triggers feeding activity.

To effectively target active feeding zones near inflow sources, consider the following tactics:

  • Cast your line close to the edge of the inflow, where the calm water meets the turbulent water. Fish often position themselves in these transition zones to ambush prey.
  • Use baits or lures that mimic the local forage species. Match the color and size of your bait to the prevalent baitfish in the area.
  • Experiment with different retrieval techniques, such as slow retrieves, jerks, or pauses, to imitate injured prey and trigger the fish’s predatory instincts.

Strategies for Fishing Windblown Shorelines

Windblown shorelines can be highly productive areas for wet weather fishing. The wind creates surface disruption and pushes baitfish closer to the shore, offering an easy food source for predatory fish. To make the most of windblown shorelines, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Position yourself on the downwind side of the shoreline. This will allow you to cast your line parallel to the shore, maximizing your chances of intercepting feeding fish.
  • Focus on areas with different structure types, such as points, pockets, or submerged vegetation, as these features create natural hiding spots for fish.
  • Use lures that produce noise and vibration, such as crankbaits or lipless vibrating lures, to attract fish in conditions of reduced visibility.

By effectively identifying and targeting active feeding zones near inflow sources and utilizing strategies for fishing windblown shorelines, you can increase your chances of success when fishing in the rain. Experiment with different techniques and adapt to the changing conditions to optimize your wet weather angling experience.

finding hotspots in the rain

Adapting Your Technique: Tips for Wet Weather Retrieves

When it comes to fishing in the rain, adjusting your technique is essential for success. The wet weather can significantly impact fish behavior, requiring anglers to adapt their retrieves accordingly. In this section, we will explore two crucial aspects of wet weather retrieves: varying retrieve speed and tempo to match fish activity levels, and the benefits of using topwater lures during rainy conditions.

Varying Speed and Tempo to Match Fish Activity

One of the keys to a successful wet weather retrieve is to match the pace of your lure with the activity level of the fish. In rainy conditions, fish may be more hesitant to chase fast-moving baits. To entice bites, consider slowing down your retrieve and giving fish more time to react. Experiment with different speeds and tempos to find what works best for the current conditions and the fish species you’re targeting.

When fishing in the rain, it’s also important to pay attention to the water clarity. Murky water can make it harder for fish to spot lures, so adjusting your retrieve to a slower and more subtle presentation can increase your chances of success. By varying your retrieve speed and tempo, you can effectively mimic the natural movement of prey and trigger more strikes.

The Benefits of Topwater Lures During Rain

Using topwater lures in the rain can be an effective strategy to attract fish. The surface disruption caused by raindrops creates ripples and vibrations that can grab a fish’s attention. Topwater lures, such as poppers, buzzbaits, and frogs, produce enticing splashes and noises that mimic injured or struggling prey.

When using topwater lures in the rain, focus on areas with cover, such as lily pads, fallen trees, or structures. These areas provide shelter for fish seeking refuge from the elements and present ideal ambush points. Cast your topwater lure near the cover, and use a slow and steady retrieve to create enticing movements on the water’s surface.

Remember, the key to using topwater lures effectively in the rain is to create a disturbance on the water’s surface that captures the attention of fish. With their combination of visual and auditory appeal, topwater lures can entice strikes from even the most finicky fish during wet weather conditions.

Table 9.1: Retrieve Techniques for Wet Weather Fishing

Retrieve TechniqueDescription
Varying Speed and TempoAdjusting your retrieve speed and tempo to match fish activity levels. Experiment with different speeds to find what works best.
Slowing Down in Murky WaterIn murky water, slow down your retrieve to give fish more time to spot and strike your lure. Mimic the natural movement of prey.
Using Topwater LuresTopwater lures create surface disturbance and attract fish with their visual and auditory appeal. Focus on areas with cover and use a slow, steady retrieve.

Safety Considerations for Angling in Inclement Weather

Fishing in inclement weather can present unique challenges and safety risks. It is important to prioritize safety precautions to ensure an enjoyable and secure fishing experience. This section will discuss the key safety considerations for wet weather fishing, including recognizing hazardous conditions and practicing lightning safety. Additionally, we will explore best practices to maintain high levels of awareness while angling in inclement weather.

Recognizing Hazardous Conditions and Lightning Safety

When fishing in wet weather, it is crucial to be aware of hazardous conditions that can arise. Heavy rain, strong winds, and rapidly changing weather patterns can create dangerous situations on the water. Keep an eye out for signs of approaching storms, such as darkening skies, rumbling thunder, and lightning flashes. If lightning is observed or thunder is heard, it is essential to take immediate action to protect yourself.

Lightning is a serious threat during thunderstorms, and anglers should prioritize lightning safety. To minimize the risk of being struck by lightning, follow these guidelines:

  1. Seek shelter in a fully enclosed building or a hard-topped metal vehicle with the windows rolled up. Avoid open structures, tall objects, and water bodies.
  2. If a fully enclosed shelter is not available, crouch down low with your feet together in a low-lying area away from trees, water, and metal objects.
  3. Avoid using and touching fishing rods, metal equipment, and other conductive objects during a thunderstorm.
  4. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last thunderclap before resuming fishing or leaving shelter.

Best Practices to Maintain High Awareness Levels

When fishing in wet weather, it is crucial to maintain high levels of awareness to ensure your safety and the safety of others around you. Follow these best practices to stay alert and proactive:

  • Stay updated with weather forecasts and be prepared for changing conditions.
  • Keep a close eye on the water currents, wind direction, and any signs of dangerous weather approaching.
  • Communicate with fellow anglers and share information about potentially hazardous conditions.
  • Wear appropriate personal flotation devices (PFDs) and ensure they are properly fitted.
  • Carry a fully charged mobile phone or other means of communication in case of emergencies.

Critical to wet weather fishing is maintaining situational awareness and making informed decisions to ensure safety remains a top priority. By recognizing hazardous conditions and practicing lightning safety, as well as implementing best practices to maintain high awareness levels, anglers can enjoy their fishing adventures while mitigating potential risks associated with inclement weather.


In conclusion, wet weather fishing can provide anglers with a rewarding and fruitful experience. By understanding the behavior of fish during rainy conditions, anglers can adapt their fishing techniques accordingly and increase their chances of success. It is important to choose the right gear, including waterproof clothing and visibility accessories, to ensure comfort and safety during wet weather fishing trips.

Despite the common misconception, fish do bite in the rain. Low barometric pressure and surface disruption caused by rain can actually trigger fish feeding behavior, making it an opportune time to cast your line. By using tactics such as selecting bright colors and noise-producing lures, and targeting hotspots near inflow sources or windblown shorelines, you can attract fish even in murky rainwater.

However, it is crucial to prioritize safety when fishing in inclement weather. Recognizing hazardous conditions, practicing lightning safety, and maintaining high levels of awareness are essential to prevent any accidents. By following these wet weather fishing tips, anglers can confidently enjoy productive and enjoyable fishing trips, rain or shine.

FAQ About Do Fish Bite in the Rain

Do fish bite in the rain?

Yes, fishing in the rain can be productive as fish behavior is influenced by low barometric pressure and surface disruption caused by rain.

What are the best times to fish in the rain?

The best times to fish in the rain are before the storm and post-storm, as fish tend to be more active during those periods.

What fishing licenses and regulations should I be aware of?

It is important to familiarize yourself with the fishing licenses and regulations in your state to ensure compliance and avoid legal issues.

What essential gear do I need for wet weather fishing?

It is crucial to choose waterproof clothing and have visibility and safety accessories for a comfortable and safe fishing experience in the rain.

Do fish bite in the rainwater?

Yes, fish can be attracted in murky rainwater by using tactics such as bright colors and noise-producing lures, as well as leveraging contrast in stained water conditions.

Where should I cast my line when fishing in the rain?

It is important to identify active feeding zones near inflow sources and target windblown shorelines, as they are often productive areas during rainy conditions.

How should I adapt my fishing technique in wet weather?

Varying retrieve speed and tempo and using topwater lures can be beneficial in wet weather fishing conditions.

What safety considerations should I keep in mind when angling in inclement weather?

It is important to recognize hazardous conditions, practice lightning safety, and maintain high awareness levels for a safe fishing experience in inclement weather.

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