Fishing In the Rain – Top Tips From A Fishing Expert

fishing in the rain

Here is a common scenario; we work all week, looking forward to the weekend so we can throw a line in at our local fishing spot and when it arrives, guess what? It’s raining!

Now before we jump up and down and complain how unfair life is, consider this.

When it comes to fishing, rain is a good thing and this article will tell you why.

Sure there are some negatives, so let’s go through them quickly but let me tell you, there are very few.


  • The most obvious one is that you will get wet: however I have yet to meet a decent fisherman who is not prepared to get a little damp in order to get that big fish.
  • Rainy weather can make us feel cold and uncomfortable if you don’t have the right clothing. Also rainy weather makes it more difficult to tie lines, change hooks and lures.
  • If you are a visual fisherman who likes to watch his line or float, then rain does reduce visibility. However we have that problem solved and you can read it below.

As far as negatives go, that is it and to be frank any fisherman worth his weight, treats them the same way we handle long shopping queues. It’s a normal part of life or in this case, the fishing experience. It is why catching a great fish in less than perfect conditions, is such a buzz or thrill.

However remember, if there is thunder and lightning around, then please no fishing!

That fishing rod can attract a lightning bolt like a beacon. Don’t believe me, then talk to Lee Trevino, a famous golfer who has been struck by lightning twice.


  • That popular spot you like going to is often crowded but the crowds drop dramatically during rainy or inclement weather. So not only does the fishing get better but there is   less competition trying to get that trophy fish.
  • It may surprise some of you but fish actually love this kind of weather. They like to feed with a bit of cover; in contrast to a clear day, with the sun overhead, fish will be holding up in areas of camouflage rather than out in the open where they are targets for bigger predators. However when the weather is grey and rainy, they are happy to be more active or move around their particular location.
  • Fish actually do respond to barometric pressure. When a cold front is coming, the pressure drops and fish by nature will increase their activity. Dear reader, I know your question is why? The answer is quite simple; barometric pressure is the weight of air or like a hand pushing down on your chest. The same for fish who have air or swim bladders that respond acutely to air pressure. So with the lower pressure, the water is less compressed which allows them to move freely through the water column, actively chasing prey over bigger areas.
  • Rain will also have an effect on what is under the water; organic matter will be dispersed over greater areas which will bring fish to the surface. This is even more prevalent when the conditions are windy. As a result, fish will be more susceptible to grabbing those surface lures.
  • The process of fishing becomes more affective because the simple act of casting your line is more discreet. There is less fear of spooking the fish when the bait or lure hits the water. At the same time we need to fish faster; throw more lures, quicker retrieves and don’t let the baits sit there too long. We need to do this as the fish are moving around at a far quicker rate than normal.
  • Let’s consider another scenario; it’s been raining for more than a day and the water is changing colour. The salinity or salt levels are dropping and now we should be getting really excited, as that means that there is a lot of fresh water and fish will be escaping to the outlets or runoffs, where the fresh water meets salt water. This is the spot to be; this “dirty line” is where the big predators are waiting for the baitfish that are being pushed towards them. Don’t ignore the shallows as well, as natural bait will often be left stranded in these areas.
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What Gear Should We Use When Fishing In The Rain

fishing in the rain
man fishing on rainy autumn day

Get The Right Fishing Jacket

The first thing we need to purchase is a quality jacket that should have the following features. It needs to keep you dry so ensure it is 100% water proof. As it is going to cop a bit of a hammering, it needs to be made of high quality construction.

Don’t choose one that is too bulky as you want to able to cast and retrieve with great mobility. Ensure that it allows your body to breathe. The last thing you want, is to feel like you have just stepped into a sauna! Last but not least, consider its individual features.

Look for one with many pockets and two way zippers that are waterproof and has a good quality hood. The Hodgman All Weather, Grunden Dark and Stormy and the Stormr Aero Jacket are 3 of the very best but quite expensive. For a decent jacket at a more affordable price, consider the Heley Hanson Impertect Deluxe.

Get A Bib To Match

Consider a set of bibs as well, although it must be said that many hoods have a set of bibs to match. So what makes a good set of bibs? Not surprisingly we need the same kinds of features as seen with the jackets. Bibs need to be totally waterproof, with great resilience and decent quality zippers.

Added things to look for is their level of insulation, as this ensures we stay warm. Look for a bib that has shoulder straps with proper support that doesn’t need constant re-adjusting. Check the lock buckles, ensuring they are easy to operate. The more pockets the better in order to keep your valuables safe. Some bibs to consider here are the Frabill and Artix Men brands.

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Other pieces of clothing that we need to consider are gloves for really cold conditions, and more than one pair of shoes or socks when we venture into really wet or soaked areas.

Terminal Gears

Let’s look at specific fishing terminal gear for rainy conditions. We know already that fish will tend to push towards the surface, so ensure you have a number of top water or surface lures. Stick bait lures will be handy here but also have top water lures that imitate what is already in the area. Frogs, dragon flys and for the bigger fish, the duckling designs are great choices.

Consider what colours may be the most successful. Surprisingly when the conditions are overcast or low light, we should ignore the bright or coloured lures as they can get lost or do not contrast the fishing environment. Instead choose those that are darker in colour as they create a clearer image for the fish.

If the water is very discoloured or muddy in colour, then one that is fluorescent may be helpful, simply because visibility is so bad. However if this is the case, then look for lures that have great vibration, as this will attract fish.

A good choice here are crank baits that really wobble with a loud rattle. Good options are the Luhr Jensen Speed Trap, Spro Little John, and the Lucky Craft 1.5 range.

To cover all bases, make sure you have a few larger than normal spinner baits, shiny in colour that will dive deep and find those bigger fish that may be holed up.

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One of the major issues with fishing in rainy weather, is the lack of visibility. However try purchasing some fluorescent fishing rod glow clip on light sticks as this will give you added light without scaring the fish. These are very cheap and can be the difference between a good hook up and the one that got away. Similarly look at the range of glow in the dark floats that are great when fishing with a bait close to the surface. No need to go to fishing tackle shops for these as you can get them in quantity on Amazon.

Wrapping It All Up

As you can see the positives far outweigh the negatives in numbers.

So in summary, remember fishing isn’t all “beer and skittles”.

We need to take the good with the bad, that some days we feel like the fish are falling over our bait or lure. Then other times there doesn’t seem to be a fish anywhere.

As Forest Gump famously stated “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get”.

That is why we all love fishing; it is so unpredictable but for those of us who call ourselves real fisherman, we don’t care. The act of fishing is enough to give us peace and enjoyment. The bumper sticker “a bad days fishing is better than a good day working” is never so accurate.

However, if you can go the extra yards and take yourself out of your comfort zone and get out and fish when the weather is rainy and horrible, then you will be the one that shows your friends that trophy fish photo.

Just remember to say, “ you should have been there yesterday!”.

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