Cold, raining, and windy…Let’s go fishing!!
When most folks wake up for a morning of fishing, and see horrendous downpours, they go back to bed. WHY? Some of the biggest fish I’ve ever caught have been in some of the worst conditions. Being prepared is the key to a successful trip. I’m here to show you how.
First and foremost, let’s talk about what to wear. Obviously, shorts and a T-shirt won’t cut it in severe weather. Even though all fishermen and women should understand that going fishing means you’ll be getting wet at some point, warm and comfortable rain gear is a must. Staying warm and dry will keep you on the water longer and give you a better chance of filling the live well. A breathable, yet waterproof rain suit is a must when water is coming at you from all directions. For me, a mid priced rain suit from Colombia is what works best. There are several options available to you from the inexpensive PVC suits to high end sets of bibs and jackets. Choosing what will work best for you should be based on the type of fishing you do. If you’re a fisherman who rarely goes out in the rain, then obviously there’s no need for a $500 suit. On another note, avoid ponchos! They get in your way when you are working the rod and reel and are just downright annoying in windy conditions. They are more of a hassle then a help.
Once you’ve made your purchase, it’s time to hit the water. Fishing in the rain usually means I’ll only be bringing a selection of darker baits. One friend says “Use any color bait you want, as long as it’s black!” I find that most times, he’s correct. It’s been said that bass have a hard time seeing baits in low light, rainy conditions. They key in on movement and vibration more than anything. Dark colored spinner baits, black and blue jigs (If you haven’t tried them yet, I recommend www.leadfreebassjigs.com), black buzz baits, dark colored Zara Spooks, or any of the soft plastics in darker colors from www.outdooradvantagelures.com, etc. are a good choice to start out with. See where I’m going here?
Fishing in the rain is no different than fishing any other time. Knowing the patterns and habits of the fish you’re targeting is the key to landing the big ones. One thing I always keep in mind is that a good rain will create currents. Drain pipes, streams, culverts, or any source that dump rain water into a lake or pond will carry worms, other insects and they in turn attract baitfish. The bass know this too. As the bass head to these spots to feed, that’s where you want to be. Crawfish, minnows, and other bait sources will be stirred up by the rain and subsequent overflow. To a bass, this is a dinner bell. Pitching a dark jig or jerk bait to these flowing sources can incite the bite you’ve been looking for.
Finally, keep in mind that if you encounter an electrical storm, call it a day! Thunder and lightning spooks fish and they go deeper. Take their queue and get off the water. Lightning is one of the least understood, natural weather phenomena. An average of 54 people per year die from lightning strikes. Most occur during summertime outdoor activities with fishing leading the top of the list. Again, take heed, as the bass do, and head home.
These are just a few of the tips I use to land big fish when the weather keeps most inside. Take advantage of the stormy weather and use it to get more fish to your boat. Besides, fishing in any weather beats sitting on the couch!
Tight Lines & Tread Lightly!