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I’m a big fan of fishing for bass, in fact, it’s probably my favorite type of fishing. I love the fact that you’re not required to remain stationary, that in order to maximize your chances you need to be constantly on the move, rather than just sitting around with your line in the water. Due to where I live, we have a ton of rain every year. I don’t mind the rain, it waters my garden and means we never have water restrictions, but how does the rain affect my fishing? Will the bass bite after a rainstorm, am I putting up with cold wet feet for no good reason? Is it better to wait for a clear sunny day before heading out, or will bass take my bait on days where it’s overcast and wet?
The easy answer is yes, bass will quite happily bite and take your bait after it’s been raining. However, it’s worthwhile understanding why this is the case, the science behind this behavior and the gear you’ll need to be able to maximize your chances of fishing success after a rainstorm. Sit back, relax and we’ll take you through the why’s and how’s of bass fishing after a rainstorm and why it’s an excellent option.
Table of Contents
Be Wary of Storms
A quick word of warning before we dive into the details of the article, we don’t want to be patronizing and we know you’re an adult, but be aware of what the weather is doing around you. I can testify to the fact that being out in a boat when the weather is fine is a truly fantastic experience. If you’re out on a boat in a small amount of rain it’s not normally a problem. But, if you see dark clouds on the horizon or storm clouds coming your way, it’s time to reconsider if a small boat is the best location for you.
Being on a boat in the middle of your favourite fishing haunt is the last place you’ll want to be as a storm rages around you. I promise you, it’s not at all fun. Even seemingly innocuous weather can turn nasty and ruin your day in no short order. You don’t want to be that person you hear about on the news being rescued due to bad decisions. Wishing you had a life jacket with you, a wetsuit or where a better swimmer is not something you want to happen when you’re in the thick of it. Ice, cyclones, tornado, hailstorms and thunderstorms are a sure fire way to put an end to a fishing trip, and in my opinion, are best viewed from the comfort of your home or on the news.
Understanding the Facts
Like many animals, the cycles of the moon and the seasons heavily influence the behaviour of fish, this goes for bass as well. The weather has a massive influence on bass behaviour, which can dictate how successful a fishing trip will be, either resulting in a very happy angler or complete lack of catches. If you understand how fish and in particular bass behave based on the weather, you can use this to your advantage and massively increase your success rate. Being able to understand weather patterns goes beyond fishing and is an important skill to have for any outdoors enthusiast.
As you’re reading this article, we’re primarily interested in how rain will influence the behaviour of Bass. There’s a lot of ground to cover here, and some parts will gloss over as it’s only required knowledge if you’re a meteorologist. We will, however, teach you some of the tips and tricks your local weather station uses to predict any changes, but rather than just predicting the weather, we’re going to use it to maximize our bass fishing conditions, even both are intrinsically linked. If you’re not overly keen on the science of it all, don’t worry, we’re keeping things very high level and in easy to digest chunks.
Prior to the Rain
How on earth can fish tell it’s going to rain given that they’re already swimming around in previous years rains? Easy, they detect and react to changes to atmospheric pressure. If you happen to have a barometer at home, it’s pretty much the same mechanism that causes the barometer to change. Essentially the atmosphere that surrounds us exerts a certain amount of pressure on everything, it’s this pressure that makes the barometer go up or down. When the pressure goes up, it usually means some nice weather is on its way. If the pressure goes down, it’s a good indication that we’re due some bad weather, and it’s time to grab your fishing rod as the bass will be biting soon.
During the Rainstorm
Now’s the time to seek some shelter, perhaps enjoy a spot of lunch or have a nap. It’s definitely not the time to go home (unless worse weather is on its way), a few raindrops will hopefully soon pass and all the smartest fishermen will have stuck around to reap the rewards. Showers generally pass after a few minutes, moving on to water another patch of land further down the road. A light or heavy rainstorm will create some amazing conditions for fishing and put you well on your way to meeting your bag limit. Patience is the key at this point and having faith that the weather will change for the better.
A very interesting thing happens when it rains, there’s the obvious, such as things become wet, then there’s the less obvious that can be subtle to spot. As water falls it’ll feed into streams and creeks, these streams and creeks then feed into lakes. Washing down with the influx of freshwater will be all sorts of interesting things such as nutrients, bits of plants, insects, grubs and a whole host of other tasty morsels that will be irresistible for your average bait fish. These baitfish will gather at the entrance points of the springs, streams and creeks, hoping for a tasty snack. This will cause Bass to go into a feeding frenzy, also hoping to dine on a tasty snack of baitfish.
Just a Little Rain to Tip the Balance
It doesn’t need to be a lot of rain to increase the water levels and send the baitfish and bass off into a feeding frenzy, when this happens they will eat just about anything presented to them. Even a few minutes of rain can be enough to raise water levels by an inch or more, all the drains, creeks and streams feeding into a lake from the surrounding terrain can quickly raise water levels. This influx of fresh water is often more than enough to kick the bait fish into overdrive, and once the bait fish have started, bass are generally not far behind and are looking to secure an easy meal.
Everyone’s Feeding Frenzy
You’ve probably seen how quickly a rainstorm can come from nowhere? If you’d kept an eye on the barometer beforehand you would have probably detected the tell-tale signs long before the rainstorm actually it, giving you plenty of warning to respond. You can use a smartphone app to do the hard work for you, tracking local weather conditions with a high degree of accuracy. Bass don’t massively care about the where the rainstorm occurs, all they care about is the influx of freshwater that it’ll create and the subsequent response from any baitfish that are present. Once the baitfish get started, the bass won’t be very far behind. It’s worth knowing that the feeding frenzy might not last for long, it really depends on how many baitfish are present and how long the rain lasted for.
With a limited window of opportunity after a rainstorm, it’s best to be ready for any eventuality in order to take full advantage. You can begin this process by finding out where bait fish are likely to be hiding. You can accomplish this with a bit of lake investigative work. Firstly find places where water enters the lake, it’s better to find a location with a narrow entry, as the baitfish and bass will be more concentrated. How long the feeding frenzy lasts might be quite short, so knowing these locations ahead of a rainstorm is a great way to prepare. If you’re in the right location when the feeding begins, you’re in with a fantastic chance of catching some serious fish. Armed with your barometer you’ll be way ahead of the pack and have a great time to boot.
So, Do Bass Bite After a Rainstorm?
Looping back to the original question, do bass bite after it’s been raining? Now you might know more than you really wanted to, but you can assuredly answer the question with a firm yes. The next step is to get yourself out onto the water, scout out your favourite watering hole and pray for some rain so you can take advantage of your new knowledge. We look forward to hearing about your monster catches.