When the rain is pouring down, and you are itching to grab your gear and head out for a few hours of surf fishing, do you know if you are wasting your time or not? How successful are others who attempt to surf fishing in the rain? That brings us to an excellent question. So, I did some research, and I wanted to share it with you.
Is surf fishing good in the rain? Some surf casters find that fish activity increased while raining or directly after a storm. However, it is important to monitor the size of the swells, and the sideways winds as this can deter fish activity and also present safety hazards for anglers. Small swells and rain will turn up the water, and this often improves fish activity and thus surf fishing success.
While surf fishing in the rain can be good, you should take precautions to make sure you do not get caught out by unpleasant/unsafe weather conditions. Checking the weather and surf conditions before you head out into a rainstorm is important.
To learn why rainy weather conditions are suitable for surf fishing, how to time going out in rainy weather, and how to surf fish safely in such circumstances, read on.
How is Surf Fishing Good in the Rain?
Seasoned surf fishing professionals often tell stories of enjoying their biggest or most impressive catch during rainy or stormy weather. If you have heard this (or just read it here), you might wonder why that is.
What makes rainy weather something that gets fish out, about and biting?
Why are fish easier to catch in the surf when it is raining? It is quite simple to understand. When a storm approaches and brings rain and wind with it, the surf water is turned up.
This unsettles the surf and churns up a lot of extra food for the fish. This can result in somewhat of a feeding frenzy.
This is a feeding frenzy that your lure or bait is part of – if you are there, that is. In fact, often fish are more aggressive in rainy or stormy weather as they compete for food.
This means you won’t have to work quite as hard to catch fish as you would on a typical sunny day – and you can catch a lot more fish than you usually would on a sunny day.
Of course, this is not always strictly the case. A lot can also come down to what area you are fishing in and what the surf conditions usually are in this area.
Choose your favorite surf fishing spots on rainy days, and you should not be disappointed.
On cloudy or rainy days, casting lines are more discreet and both small and larger surf fish will feel more confident venturing out from their hiding spots to hunt in water that is murkier or cloudier.
You certainly won’t find yourself having to soak a thrown worm for hours, or in some cases, even minutes! Hungry fish + turned up water = perfect surf fishing conditions!
Surf Fishing Around Rainy Weather
If you are thinking of calling off your surf fishing trip because of some bad weather on the way, think again! Some surf fishers report the best time to fish in the rain is just as it starts to fall and churn up the surf, but not if it’s extremely rough.
If you know it is going to rain extremely hard and get very windy, you may as well avoid going out to fish as fish can’t move as easily in very rough conditions.
Those who head out often in rainy or stormy weather have also found that lightning can affect just how active fish are in the surf.
Typically, when lightning strikes water, it is the first 2m depth of the water that is affected, so most fish tend to keep further away when it is thundering and lightning.
Of course, you might want to think twice about running up and down the shore while it rains and lightning strikes anyway.
This is dangerous, and if you get struck, the amazing catch you make won’t be worth it. Timing your surf fishing around rainy weather can be as simple as checking the following conditions:
Check the wind speed.
Windy weather is okay as it helps to churn the water, but if you have extremely heavy side winds, you are going to struggle with your fishing efforts.
You also need to be careful that the wind is not causing massive waves and that there are no powerful gusts that are going to prove dangerous.
Investigate the general surf conditions.
The surf conditions will determine whether it is worthwhile heading out to fish in the rain or not. Checking the size of the swells can be really helpful.
Fishing in the rain is done best when there are small swells. Larger swells tend to present less fish activity.
Check if there is or will be any lightning accompanying the rain.
Take the time to check if it is thundering and lightening along with rainfall as this can scare the fish off. It is probably best to stay in any way if it is lightning as it is unsafe for you too.
Surf Fishing in the Rain Tips.
Fishing in the rain at the right time can be good. Many surf fishers swear by it, but what can you do to ensure that your rainy surf fishing experience is the best it can be? Below are a few tips:
Time your fishing trip according to the weather.
Aim to head out just before and after a rainstorm. Changes to the environment that bring rain and wind are felt by fish long before we see it.
The drop in temperature and pressure often get fish into a feeding frenzy just before the rain and as it starts.
Know what the weather will be doing for the day.
Invest in a decent weather app for your mobile phone, so that you know what to expect and can rely on the information.
While you know it is raining and the surf is choppy now, you need to know if extreme or hurricane-type weather is expected during the course of the day.
Do not get caught out in dangerous weather conditions due to misinformation (or no information at all).
Use the right bait.
Choose your bait or lure with some extra care. Obviously, on a calm and sunny day, fish won’t struggle to see your lure in the water.
When it is windy and rainy, the water will be all churned up, and there will be many food options for your fish.
To get their attention, you might want to consider using a scent-driven lure or live bait.
Cast with care – avoid getting caught by rogue waves.
Be strategic when you cast. Wind will probably push waves up the shore.
Aim to walk in when the waves are on their way out once you have cast, run up the shore again to safety. Big waves can come in unexpectedly and hit you otherwise.
Keep things shallow.
Do not cast too far. Many surf fishers that enjoy fishing in the rain often say that they get the most action in the shallow churned up waves near the shore.
It is raining, and the fish are feeding. There is no need to cast too far out towards the horizon. For the best catch, try the shallower water first.
Protect yourself and your clothing.
Invest in some good quality rain fishing gear. Just because it is raining, it does not mean that you have to be cold, wet, and miserable. Get a waterproof jacket and waders.
If you are going to be running up and down the surf, you need something lightweight, and it is a great idea to keep a spare (or second) jacket just in case.
Avoid spool slipping.
Use a “Thumby” when it is raining. If you opt to use a bait cast reel instead of a spinning reel, the wet weather will cause the spool to slip under your thumb when you cast.
Make your own “Thumby” by cutting out a finger from an old rubber glove. Wearing this on your finger will stop the spool slipping and also save you the pain of potential thumb damage.
If you plan your surf fishing times carefully, you can really benefit from fishing in the rain. You will find that with the turned-up water and more smaller things to eat, the surf fish you are after will be more active, and hungry.
That puts you in a great position as a surf caster. The next time you see rain headed to your favorite surf fishing spots, get ready to head out with your wet gear and rods – you’re in for a great catch.