Can You Go Fishing After It Rains?

The rain finally disappeared and now it seems to be a perfect day. You take out your favorite fishing rod and sit there on the dock or boat for the rest of the day. But you end up catching nothing! You must have had these experiences before. What did you do wrong? Was it actually your fault? It does not seem so.

The answer is in the fact that weather has a profound impact on fishing activities. More than the lure and bait, as a fisherman, you have to understand the dynamics of weather conditions on marine life. It can completely alter your fishing experience.

The simple answer, is yes, you can certainly have success fishing after it rains, but it also depends on some other weather factors.

Whether you should go fishing after it rains or not depends primarily on the weather conditions. Along with that, other factors like the type of water, location for fishing, and the type of fish you want to catch, would also make the difference between a successful bait and an empty catch.

But, of all the factors, you must have a thorough understanding of the weather and how much it impacts your fishing. Whether you are an experienced fisherman or a new angler, knowledge about the weather is of utmost importance.

Fishes are cold-blooded animals. Unlike human beings, they cannot adjust their body temperature. They need to adapt their activities depending on the weather conditions. Their body metabolism increases or decreases as per the changing weather. The most important elements of weather that affects fishing are temperature, pressure, and oxygen levels in the water. These profoundly alter the movement of fishes. We will investigate the different factors and find out how it impacts fishing after it rain.

How does the water temperature affect fishing?

Water temperature has a significant impact on marine life. Understanding how it affects fishes and their lives is fundamental if you want to make a successful catch. As you know, fishes are cold-blooded, they cannot regulate their body temperature. They have to alter their body metabolism to respond to temperature changes. 

If the water temperature is warm, fishes increase their metabolism rate, require more oxygen, and become very active. Thus, they need food and will surface up.

Contrary to this, during cold temperatures, their body metabolism reduces, and they become less active. It is because of the enzymes inside their body. If the temperature is cold, the catalyst works slowly, taking more time to digest food. Thus, fishes become lethargic and do not come out for food. They hide inside their shelters during low temperature days. On the other hand, warm temperature means faster enzyme activity, forcing the fishes to come out for food.

Experienced anglers always suggest that you go out on a day when the temperature is temperate. If the temperature was warm and it was followed by warm rains, then you can have a great fishing experience after storms. But if it was followed by a cold shower, then chances are that fishes will become less active. 

Temperature also affects the way that fish breathe oxygen. They need to extract the dissolved oxygen in order to breathe and live. The water temperature also affects their ability to extract oxygen. Warm or temperate conditions are always well-suited for fishing.

Let us look at the optimal temperatures for different fishes.

Type of FishPreferred Temperature Range (°F)
Crappie65° to 75°
Bluegill65° to 75°
Largemouth Bass60° to 78°
Smallmouth Bass58° to 71°
Northern Pike55° to 74°
Muskellunge54° to 72°
Yellow Perch54° to 72°
Walleye53° to 71°
Brown Trout52° to 70°
Rainbow Trout50° to 65°
Brook Trout48° to 65°
Chinook Salmon45° to 60°
Coho Salmon45° to 60°
Lake Trout42° to 56°

Remember to check the temperature before planning your next fishing adventure.

How does the pressure influence the activity of fish?

If you are looking for a successful catch, then you must have a sound knowledge about the influence of air pressure on fishes. Barometric pressure is the amount of force exerted by a column of air, on a unit area, at the surface of the sea. Mercury column is used to measure the pressure. A pressure of 29.6 inches is considered normal. Anything above this is high-pressure conditions, and anything below is low-pressure conditions.

Just like meteorologists, fishes can also detect changes in the mercury levels. It is said that the fishes detect the pressure changes with their swim bladder. It is used to provide buoyancy to the fishes. It acts as a barometer inside their body. It can adjust to the different pressure conditions and controls the activities of the fishes. Hence, fishes can detect the rapid ranges in pressure levels. 

This affects your fishing activities before and after a storm. Right before the storm, there is a period of low pressure. Fishes can detect the change and surface for more food and oxygen. It is a time of bounty for anglers. The period before the storm is pretty ideal if there had been steady pressure in the days before. Once the rains come or the storm hits, it is not optimal to go out fishing. The thunder and lightning propel fishes to stay indoors deep beneath the surface levels. Under very low-pressure conditions, they find it difficult to breathe as well.

Once the storm passes, the pressure again changes, it increases steadily. This is yet another excellent time for fishing. A day or two after the storm has passed, fishes grow their activities. They need food and oxygen. They will come out and surface, giving you an excellent opportunity to catch a bounty. Once the pressure becomes very high, fishes will reduce its activities. Also, right after the storm, fishes will surface to capture the worms and insects brought by the runoff.

Barometric pressure clearly has a profound impact on fishing activities. The days before a storm and right after it passes are ideal for fishing. Clearly, whenever you sense a change in pressure, you can bring out your fishing reels and colorful lures.

Do the oxygen levels impact your fishing experience?

Just like human beings, aquatic life is also sustained on oxygen. Fishes extract the dissolved oxygen from water. No doubt, the dissolved oxygen concentration inside water would also impact your fishing experience. 

If there is enough oxygen in the water body, then fishes will not surface in search of oxygen. They will stay indoors and reduce their activities. This sound does sound goof for fishing. This explains why a warm or temperature climate is preferred for fishing. Also, how do the low-pressure conditions before a storm attract fishes to the surface?

Water temperature and dissolved oxygen levels are inversely proportional to each other. As the water temperature rises, the oxygen levels decrease. This means that the fishes will have to come near the surface to get more oxygen. This explains why you catch a bounty during the warm days after a rain. If there was a cold rain, then the water would already contain enough oxygen. This reduces your chances of a great catch.

Similarly, high-pressure conditions mean more oxygen concentration. It would push the fishes deep inside the water. Just before the storm hits, when the barometric pressure is low, the oxygen concentration in the water bodies reduces. This forces the fishes to surface up in search of more oxygen. If you experience a warm rain, then you can head out to fish after it rains. You will have the opportunity of making a great catch.

What is the relation between rainfall intensity and fishing?

Your fishing experience would also depend on the rainfall intensity. The rainfall strength can make a massive difference between a successful catch and a great disappointment. The power of rains depends on the amount and the winds accompanying it. This, in turn, affects the turbidity, the amount of runoff, and the metabolism of the fishes. 

Turbidity affects the visibility of the fishes. Intense rainfall can increase turbidity, thereby limiting visibility. This makes it difficult for the fishes to scout for food deep inside the waters. They have to surface near the shore to gather food and oxygen. Also, as the turbidity increases, fishes tend to come out of their shelters, because it becomes difficult for their predators to spot them. Besides, the strong current will bring along a lot of mud and dirt. They carry plenty of insects, worms, and grubs for the fishes to feed on. This means a bounty for you.

Heavy rain will bring in a lot of runoffs along with it. Increased turbulence and strong currents mean more food for the fishes. Areas with high drainages will give you the best opportunities. Under these circumstances, fishes behave favorably. Their body metabolism increases. They come near the water surface in search of food, giving you an optimal chance. One thing you must be careful about, as the visibility decreases underwater, fishes might not be able to see your bait as well. Thus, you must consider using colorful baits under these circumstances.

Rains bring in freshwater for the fishes, and they are attracted to freshwaters for food and oxygen. It not only gives them food but also more oxygen. Whenever they sense freshwaters, they will come near the surface. It means more worms, microorganisms, grubs, and dissolved oxygen.

But remember that you should not venture out during a storm. During a storm, the thunder and lightning force fishes to stay inside their shelters. The high pressure means a low activity for fishes. It is advised that once the rain subsided, you check out areas with strong current and substantial runoffs. 

Are there any other factors that affect fishing?

The temperature, pressure, and rainfall intensity are the major factors that will determine whether you will enjoy a great catch after the rains. However, some other factors also influence your angling experience. They include the cloud cover, front, and winds.

Fishes prefer to come near the surface on a cloudy day. Right before the rains or storms, when the sky is covered with clouds, you can consider fishing. High cloud cover means less sunlight penetrating into the water. This reduces the oxygen levels inside the water. It forces the fishes to leave their shelter and come near the surface. A sunny day means reduced activities, and fishes will tend to hide from the surface.

A warm front is always preferred for fishing. It will increase the movement for fishes, their metabolism will increase, and they will be in search of more food and oxygen. During a storm, or after a period of cold rains, the cold front is not suited for a great catch. Fishes feed a lot before a cold front so that they can hide during a cold front. That’s why cold temperature conditions are not suited for fishing activities. Once the cold front has passed, fishes will come out, and so can you.

Finally, the wind also impacts your catch. The wind drives fishes along with your bait. If you are fishing from the shore and it windy and then you must throw your bait into the wind. But if you are fishing from a boat, then you must follow the wind. Your bait should go with the wind. This will ensure a great catch.


Can I go fishing while it is still raining?

You can enjoy all the benefits of an after rain catch while it is raining as well. But that does not mean that every time it rains, you can expect a high score. If it is a cold rain, due to a passing cold front, or it is a torrential downpour, then we suggest you stay indoors. Do not venture out if there is a thunderstorm with heavy rainfall. We also recommend to never go out fishing in a major storm like hurricane, tropical storm or tropical depression – it’s simply not worth it.

What is the impact of rain on saltwater fishing?

Saltwater fishing is impacted when it rains. The salinity of the water and its turbidity impacts fishing. Most saltwater anglers look for fishes near the surface. After a shower or storm, it becomes muddy, and your visibility decreases. If you plan to go for reds or bonefish, then rains may not be of any help. Instead, they would hamper your fishing experience. But if you are set to catch the bottom ones, then you will enjoy all the benefits which we discussed above.

What kind of fish are active in rainy, cold weather conditions?

As we discussed earlier, the metabolism for fish is significantly impacted by the temperature. Once the temperature starts dropping, some fish like the bass, become wholly inactive and stay inside its shelter. Thus, if you are planning for ice angling, then you must know the kind of fishes which will be active during winters. Perch, Walleye, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, and Trout are some of the fishes which you can expect to catch during the winter months, whether it rains or not.

If it has been raining all day, can I go fishing at night when the rain stops?

Many experienced anglers suggest that fishing at night can be very productive. There are very few vessels, so there is little to no disturbance. At night, fishes come near the surface for oxygen and food. Besides, the water current and the tides are also favorable for a catch. But avoid fishing right after a cold rain or storm.

Is fly fishing good after it has rained?

Rainfall will bring in a lot of runoffs. This means there are a lot of insects and flies already near the surface. This is the best time for fly fishing. You can easily catch the salmon or the bass or even the robust trout. But, if there has been a torrential downpour or there is a strong wind, then it might not favor you. A strong current will not allow you to hold your bait in one place. Thus, it reduces your chances of a great catch. If it is light rains, then nothing can stop you from making a fantastic catch.


You see, it is indeed favorable to fish after the rains, but your chances of success will depend on a lot of factors. The knowledge about the weather conditions and how it impacts marine life is the difference between a rookie and a seasoned angler. It is vital to take note of the temperature, pressure, and oxygen levels. Warm temperature is always favorable. Low-pressure conditions right before a storm will help you in making a great catch.

Remember that cold rain or rain due to a passing cold front is absolutely unfavorable. Stay indoors and watch the fishing channel during such times. At the same time, do not forget to check the intensity of the rain. Torrential downpour with thunder and lightning is not ideal for fishing. Medium to light rain brings in a lot of runoffs. It increases the concentration of microorganisms and worms on the surface, luring fishes to come out of their shelter.

Thereby, we can conclude that it is favorable to fish after the rains provided that the other weather conditions are also in your favor.

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