Fishing in the Rain
Bass fishing in the rain can be a very rewarding experience when you know what to expect. The first and most important step is buying a good quality rain suit, along with comfortable rubber boots to keep on hand for when the rainy day arrives. Nothing will ruin a day of fishing like the pain of “jungle rot” after hours of plodding around in soggy shoes. Next on the list is what, how, and where you plan to fish. Bass behave differently in the rain than they do on a sunny day, so let’s take a look into the psyche of the rainy day bass.
Rainy days are wonderful for fishing! However, the combination of cloud cover and the distorted light from the rain drops bouncing off the lake’s surface creates a very low visibility situation for the bass. As such, you are best to use black lures, or at least a very dark/opaque colored bass lures so that they can see the contrast against the dim background. Anything translucent, shiny, or sparkly will just camouflage the lure amidst the dancing light beneath the water. Just think of those gothic kids on TV, wearing all black and with obnoxious bad attitudes. That’s what your lure needs to be on the rainy days.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Have you ever been underwater in a swimming pool when it started raining? If so you will know that it creates a sort of white noise or vibration that muffles most other sounds. Keep this in mind when you are choosing your bass lure. A small rooster tail is a killer choice in calm water, but during a downpour it will be like a silent ghost underwater.
Think about animals that would become active in the rain and likely be jumping into the water. Frogs get frisky and jump too far into the water in their carelessness. Large bugs such as beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers get pummeled and confused by the rain, then crash onto the water. Every type of insect imagined will be caught in runoff water and drained down to the lake surface. Lures like Hula Poppers, or really any medium sized “Popping” or “Bubbling” lure will work great to mimic a stranded creature on the water’s surface. The top water is where the bass will be hunting for their prey, so give them what they are looking for!
Oh Where, Oh Where, Did My Big Ol’ Bass Go?
Oh where, o where can they be?
Location can become a little trickier when the water begins to rise. As the water level rises, bass will almost always move closer to the shore of low-lying areas. Well, I say bass move closer to shore, but in reality nearly all fish move closer to shore. This is something people often don’t think about, but it makes total sense. If you are fishing on a dam or elevated area and the waters rise a few inches, what happens? Not much, because the ledge or complete drop-off is too steep to really change the conditions.
However, what happens to the areas where the ground is nearly level with the water? That’s right, it starts to flood and disappear as the normally dry land is submerged. As the water rises in these low lying areas all types of grubs, earthworms, grasshoppers, and every other creepy crawly that the bass love become suddenly accessible. The smaller prey fish know this as well, so the newly submerged areas are like an all you can eat buffet for hungry bass. The bass can eat gut-loaded prey fish as they peruse the shallow waters, and they get two meals in one! Cast your line along the bank in these areas and you are sure to find the bass’ favorite new foul-weather dining spot!