The weather is one of the crucial factors that will determine your strategy of fishing, and this also comes in handy with other factors such as the fishing location, and the type of fish you are targeting. Understanding how the weather affects your angling experience is essential since it helps you maximize your chances of success.
Ideally, your experience can turn out to be a success when you decide to fish after the rain, or it could prove to be the opposite. Wonder why? Because of the temperature of the water, oxygen and pressure levels and the amount of rain highly impacts it.
But first things first, it is important to keep in mind that fish, just like many other animals, have a great sense about the weather and can detect when there has been a change in the passing fronts, temperature, and pressure changes.
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Relationship between Temperature and Pressure to Fishing
As earlier stated, the success or failure of fishing after rain is dependent and is profoundly impacted by the prevailing temperatures and the pressures.
- If the water was already warm and there have been warm rains, then the bass and other fish will become more active.
- If the water was warm or cold and there was an occurrence of a freezing period of rain, it will not be the most optimal fishing day.
- Air pressure and oxygen levels highly impact the carp and other fish which highly seek oxygenated waters to become more active.
- You want to fish when the air pressures are low since this correlates with the amount of oxygen in the air or water.
- After a period of warmth, the air pressures are high, which means that the oxygen levels are low, and in such cases, fish tend to become less active.
- If there was an influx of water levels, you are likely to find fish near the banks.
- With intense rainfall, the runoffs increases, and most fish will gather at the edge of muddy areas to feed.
After the storm has subsided, it is often followed by a period of sun or brightness. This brightness triggers the fish to swim deeper to shade away from the bright conditions. If you are fishing after the overcast of the rain, then you will have higher chances of luring the fish to the covers. You should at least have an idea of where the fish are likely to gather away from the brightness.
Understanding the Impacts of Water Temperature
Most experienced anglers recommend fishing when the temperatures are temperate, and it has rained in recent days, just before the next forecasted storm. In temperate conditions, baitfish will move to areas where they can maximize their metabolism and where they are comfortable. Since they are cold-blooded, they cannot regulate their body temperatures, which means that they have to find their optimum sustainability temperature. When there is no optimum temperature, their bodies adjust by either increasing or decreasing metabolism.
Ideally, when the water is warm, the fish metabolism increases and their breathing rate increases, thus, requiring more oxygen. When the water is cold, their metabolism goes down, and they become less active.
So what is the optimum temperature range for various fish?
|Fish Type||Favored Temperature Ranges|
|Coho (Silver) Salmon||440-600|
|Chinook (King) Salmon||440-600|
Knowing the ideal temperature range will come in handy when looking for a specific type of fish. Nevertheless, water temperature might be the most crucial factor when planning to fish directly after, and /or during a rainy period.
If the water was already warm and was followed by a season of warm rain, the bass, and other fish will become more active. This is the best period for fishing of all types. You are likely to find carps sun-bathing near the shores and on the weeds.
However, if the weather was warm or cold and followed by a very cold period of rain, this will not be the best optimal angling time. Because, the water becomes unfavorable for the fish to swim, and they become less active. Thus, you will less likely find the carps wading through the weeds, and the bass and other fish will have less energy to be active.
Air Pressures and Oxygen Levels
Changes in pressure also affect the behavior of fish since they can sense when there is about to be a shift in the barometric pressure. Ideally, most species tend to be more active days leading up to a rainstorm. Thus, if the forecast is calling for rain, you would probably want to throw your gear together before the storm approaches.
So why does the falling pressure, associated with rain (cold front), affect fish? A simple explanation could be; fish tend to feed more before a low-pressure period (before the rain). After the rain (high pressure), the pressure of the water pushes more against the fishes’ body, which makes them feel uncomfortable and causes a full belly feeling. But during a low-pressure period, they are more comfortable, and their belly feels empty, which means they will be more active in the search for food.
On the other hand, during the storm, the lightning flashes and thunder will push the fish deeper in search of safety. The period after the storm is the best time to fish since the rivers carry frogs, insects, and other small prey which brings fish close to the surface.
While most fishermen recommend angling before a rainstorm, you could also have a better chance of making a catch after the storm. For instance, if there has been a long spell of hot, dry weather, fishing after the storm could be the best option as opposed to trawling before the rain. This is because, during hot, dry weather, there is less food on the surface of the water for the fish to feed, which means that the fish are less active. However, during the rains, organic matter is stirred up in the water, which attracts insects and frogs. With plenty of food on the surface of the water after the rains, more fish will draw near the water surface to feed.
Does the Intensity of the Rain affect fishing after the rain?
The strength of the rain can also affect your angling experience. The intensity of the rain impact the water levels, the water clarity, and the patterning of the fish.
In terms of water levels, the amount of rainfall determines how much runoffs a water body receives and how long it lasts. Runoffs are created after the ground is saturated and will continue running off as long as the downpours continue. You should always look for areas with the heaviest runoffs since they have the strongest current. More turbulence means more oxygen, which is crucial in increasing the fish’s metabolism. If you are lucky to find an area with high runoff, you are more likely to find the most active bass and other fish.
Water clarity is affected by runoffs. You are likely to find mud lines where the runoff mixes with the main body water. Muddy water drags worms and grubs along which incites baitfish. But this will only be effective if the rain was warm. If the runoff is from cold rain or melting snow, the temperature will not be suitable for fish metabolism, which triggers the fish to seek warm water near the main water bodies.
Lastly, the strength of the rain will also affect the patterning of the fish. In a nutshell, whenever there is fresh water coming into the main body, the fish will migrate into the fresh water since it has more oxygen and more food as well. This draws baitfish to the runoff area to feed on the influx microorganisms.
What other Weather Conditions affect fishing?
Apart from the rain, other weather conditions will also impact your fishing experience. This includes wind, fronts, and cloud cover.
Wind pushes bait to the far shore, and the fish will follow the bait. Thus, if you are netting from shore on a windy day, make sure to cast into the wind. But if you are casting from a boat, cast with the wind on a sheltered shore.
When it comes to fronts, most fish will feed more hours before a cold front, but less during or after a storm or front. You are less likely to have any success casting a day or two after a cold front. However, during a warm front, the water temperature increases and increases the metabolism of the fish, and most of the feeding activity happens near the warm surface i.e., near banks.
Lastly, cloud cover is also a crucial factor since it impacts the amount of light penetrating the water. Fish will pray more during overcast skies than they would during a bright day. They are more likely to stay and hide close to structure on sunny days.
What is the Best Weather to Fish?
On sunny days, the fish will shift to deep waters where it is cooler. Thus, if you are looking to bait, then fish when the temperatures are cooler, and the light intensity is lower such as in the morning or late afternoon. Afternoon to dusk is also a recommendable trawling time since the cooler temperatures and low light levels lure the fish to cruise for meals.
Which Fish are Active during Winter?
Various fish react differently when the temperatures drop during the winter. If you are an ice angler, then there are distinct species you should target since some like bass are completely inactive during cold seasons. Some of the species that stay active during winter include Perch, Northern Pike, Walleye, Crappie, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, and Trout.
How to Catch Bass and Crappie in Muddy Water
In muddy water, these two species do not chase after food from far, and they tend to react by holding closer to cover. In such a case, you can improve your odds of luring them using a plug that rattles. This makes it easy for the fish to locate the bait. A spinnerbait is also a perfect choice since the spinning blade sends vibrations. The color of your lure also matters when angling in muddy water. The fish will easily locate jigs with colors such as black, chartreuse, or red.
The success rate of fishing after rains is highly dependent on factors such as the temperatures, pressure, and oxygen levels. The strength of the rain is also a factor worth noting. After cold rains, it could not be the most effective time to fish. However, angling after warm rains will be more productive since the fish will have a higher metabolism and will move to the shallow ends to feed. Heavy rainfall increases runoffs, which carries microorganisms to the water bodies. This provides food for the fish and also increases the oxygen levels; thus, the fish migrates into the fresh water since it has more oxygen and food. Consequently, fishing is good after the rain as long as the other factors are observed as well.