Fishing after a thunderstorm can be incredible. For the sake of this post, I know we are focused on catfish fishing, and we should be.
It’s arguably the best fish to target.
Do catfish bite after a storm or after a hard rain?
You bet. They can go crazy during these times if you’re prepared.
In this post, we are going to cover what I know for absolutely dominating a day of catfishing in the rain or after the storm.
In all honesty, they both work great, so if you feel like getting soaked during a nice downpour, I applaud the effort and more importantly, strongly believe you are going to have some excellent luck hook setting some great channels, blues or flatheads during the next downpour in your area.
Just be careful that it’s not raining to hard because that can diminish the returns fairly quickly. We will cover that as well.
Be sure to check out what I wrote about winter carp bait and summer carp bait.
Table of Contents
- The Back and Forth Between Catfish Anglers
- 3 Timings of Storms for Catfishing Briefly
- Catfishing After a Hard Rain
- Finding Runoffs or Adjoining Creeks and Streams
- Fishing Immediately after the Storm or Hard Rain
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The Back and Forth Between Catfish Anglers
You can exit this blog right now, find outdated forums and other questions on the internet regarding these questions about the pros and cons of catfish fishing after storms, rain or any different inclement weather.
What will you find? A lot of back and forth the most part. I think this is a little unnecessary and just needs to be explained a bit better by one newer source. For now, let BonfireBob be that source of information.
Some Anglers seem to have great luck after storms, during rains, and after rains. Some seem to think it’s possibly the worst time to fish for catfish. It’s not the WORST time to catfish, and something was going wrong in those catfish anglers approach.
3 Timings of Storms for Catfishing Briefly
Let’s start by making it clear that catfish don’t shy away from storms and the biting and activity can increase substantially if you plan it correctly.
The first tip and thing to remember are rising waters can equal some great catfishing. There is a difference however between fishing pre-storm, mid-storm and post-storm. It also matters how much rain ultimately fell and the cause and effect it had on the water.
Let’s cover these 3 timings of storms for catfishing briefly.
Generally, air masses move west to east across North American due to earths rotation and jet stream. The sudden changes can make a big difference in water temperature, air temperature, wind direction, and barometric pressure that in return, dramatically impacts your ability to fish during the phases of these weather patterns.
Pre-storm is obviously before the real weather strikes. Low-pressure warm front collides with high-pressure cold fronts. As the pressure drops, the catfish seem to have an idea of what’s about to come and get stirred up a bit.
The Fishing during the storm approach can still lead to some good hook setting and active biting from our whiskered friends beneath the water surface.
This part of the weather system you can have mixed results. If the storm is something that’s dropping heavy rains or loud thunder and frequent lightning strikes, it’s possible the fishing can get tough and the catfish stay a bit timid.
If, however, the storm is a bit milder and not sounding like something out of the movie “Twister” than you should have increased luck during this time as well.
Post Storm should always result in pretty good activity and catfish biting. The rains and pressure beneath the water have caused the catfish to be forced out of there natural sitting spots and the food sources flying around beneath the water are basically unlimited during this time.
This should make it easy with the right baits being used to get your hook right into a nice sized channel, blue or flathead catfish.
Catfishing After a Hard Rain
Apparently, with all good thunderstorms, we also get some light to heavy rain. Some anglers have mixed feelings on if it’s better to fish during this time, immediately after or a few days after so I wanted to give my two cents on the question.
“I’ve found that catfishing during a light rain can still be very fruitful. The light rain is just enough to get the catfish moving around and actively feeding. However, if the storm transitions or the rain moves into heavy rain, I’ve never had great luck.” – BonfireBob
Stay with me for a moment.
If you do however catfish a day or two after the heavy rain, the results can be amazing.You do have to keep in mind that if the area your fishing took on heavy rains that the catfish may have been impacted by the sudden rising water levels.
If this is the case, you may have to put in the extra work to do some surface fishing to get the job done. The fish will tend to scatter around heavily after big rains.
Finding Runoffs or Adjoining Creeks and Streams
If you’re able to locate runoffs or any mouths or creeks or water entry points after a heavy rain, this can also be a great place to present your bait. The food sources in these areas are abundant and mainly a free buffet for the catfish. All in all, these areas have proven to be excellent catfishing about 24-48 hours after a solid downpour and rain.
Fishing Immediately after the Storm or Hard Rain
Fishing immediately after a thunderstorm or hard rain has always proven difficult for me so far in my catfishing experience. The sudden colder air and pressure rise seems to get the catfish out of the mood to really bite on anything.
This doesn’t mean you have no chances of catching catfish during the time, it just means you may have something better you could invest your time in if your looking for high catch rates and large amounts of catfish to take home to fry.
Is it Good Fishing After a Storm?
Storm will affect fishing and your success catching them. Eating habits will change with some fish hours before the storm but will decrease after the storm. If the water temperature rises it’s a good time to fish.
Putting it all together. Catfish do bite before, during and after Thunderstorms.
It just depends on the exact circumstances and waters your catfishing in. Catfishing during these times should never be ignored or thought of as a waste of time but if I had to pick, I’d try and strike and actively locate the catfish right before the storm or during a light rain will be your top prime-time catfishing windows.
As always, I hope you enjoyed this blog post and hope it can help at least one more new catfish angler catch more catfish this year.
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I appreciate you and thanks for reading.