Weather conditions have a significant influence on fishing. Changes in barometric pressure, light, and wind, which are associated with stormy weather, can push fish into a feeding frenzy.
But is fishing good after a storm? Fishing after a storm can be very successful. Most fish species become active after the storm, once the water has calmed. Heavy rain increases water current and sediment runoff, meaning there are more insects in the water for fish to feed on. Fish in areas where there is a lot of runoff.
Keep reading to learn all you need to know about storm fishing, including why fishing is usually better after a storm. We’ll also share tips on how to get the most out of fishing in stormy weather.
Do Fish Bite Best Before or After a Storm?
Most novice anglers think they’ll catch the most fish on warm and sunny days. But that’s rarely the case.
Experienced fishermen know that fishing is often the best before and after a storm. Most fish species bite better before the storm when the barometric pressure drops.
Unlike the rising barometric pressure, a dropping air pressure triggers a feeding frenzy in fish. These weather conditions encourage baitfish to get out of their hiding places and look for food. The big, predatory fish follow suit.
After the storm, the barometric pressure will rise, making the fish less active than before. However, fishing after a rain and storm can still be very productive.
Fish remain active after the storm has passed and the water has calmed. Rainfall increases water current and sediment runoff, stirring things up in the water and creating feeding opportunities for hungry fish. After the storm, look for areas with heavy runoff or near the mouths of inlets, creeks, and dams.
Rainfall equals higher water flow which means that the water will be teeming with sediment, fish eggs, zooplankton, and insect larvae. These conditions create a perfect feeding environment for fish and increase your chances of catching a big fish.
As the barometric pressure stabilizes after the rain, the fish will return to their standard feeding patterns. This means that most big fish feed actively for only a short window of time after a storm. To catch fish, take advantage of this time to cast a line in areas with high water flow.
Pros and Cons of Fishing After a Storm
Fish react to different types of weather, but it’s important to remember that not all fish species are affected by the weather in the same way.
A fall in air pressure before a storm is the prime time for fishing. But other factors like time of the year, water temperature, wind direction, and speed play a prominent role in the success of a fishing trip.
Before you head out to the water, it’s good to understand the benefits and downsides of fishing after a storm.
Benefits of Fishing After a Storm
Fishing after a storm is a great way to ensure you won’t go home empty-handed. In most cases, barometric pressure is likely to rise after the storm, giving you a small window of opportunity to catch big fish.
Heavy rainfall and wind stir the water and increase water flow, pushing insects and small baitfish to the shore. If you don’t mind fishing in these weather conditions, staying close to shore can help you land some fish.
Knowing where to fish and what type of fishing bait to use will significantly increase your chances of catching fish after rain.
Look for concentrated areas of water movement, like waterfalls, creek mouths, dams, and underwater structures. Most fish hide in these areas waiting for their prey to get pushed by the water current.
Use heavy and aggressive baits after a storm to catch fish. Topwater lures such as buzz baits and poppers are excellent for bass fishing. Swimbaits work for almost all fish species and are very effective if you allow the current to move and control the bait naturally.
Downsides of Fishing After the Storm
Although fishing after the storm can be very productive, there are also some drawbacks. Safety should be your biggest concern when fishing after heavy rainfall and storm.
Even if it appears that the storm and clouds have blown over, remain cautious and be ready to depart on the first sign of lightning and thunder. Being prepared for stormy weather is the best way to ensure your safety.
A warm storm front will push fish into a feeding frenzy, but a cold front will have the opposite effect. Instead of encouraging fish to feed aggressively, a cold front will cause fish to slow down and make them more lethargic than usual.
If the cold front moves in and causes the storm, you’ll have difficulty catching fish. Heavy rainfall can also be problematic because it can cause the water to become murky, making it hard for you to see the fish.
Tips for Fishing After a Storm
Fishing in stormy weather isn’t recommended because anglers may get hit by lightning. But fishing after the storm can be a fantastic experience if the storm has passed and the weather improves.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of fishing after a storm:
- Invest in equipment: Fishing gear might be expensive, but it’s well worth it. Invest in a digital barometer and GPS fish finder if you plan to fish after a storm.
- Watch the weather: Anglers can benefit from knowing which weather conditions make fish active.
- Be aware of your location: Understanding the area you’re fishing in reduces the risk of a lightning strike. When fishing after a storm, steer clear of areas with many trees and fish in an open area near the shore.
Fishing after a heavy storm can be pretty productive. If the warm pressure front caused the storm, you might catch more fish than you can carry home.
Having said that, fishing after a storm won’t always be successful and comes with certain drawbacks. While warm pressure fronts make fish active and interested in feeding, cold pressure fronts make fish lethargic and unwilling to feed no matter how good your bait looks.