Everybody who loves to fish has their vision of that perfect day out on the lake, river, pond or bank—the sun is shining, there are just a few puffy, white clouds in the sky, and the water is calm as glass and crystal clear so that you can see every little fish jumping. It’s a beautiful scene, sure. But we’re here to argue that there are plenty of benefits to heading out fishing with your gear when the weather is less-than-ideal.
(A note before we move on: Safety is always the number-one priority on any fishing outing. When we say “bad weather,” we mean rainy, cloudy, chilly or windy. We don’t mean that you should head out on the lake in a thunderstorm or try to maneuver around a flash flood. Be smart and stay safe.)
Here are 5 reasons you should consider fishing when the weather’s bad.
1. Less Crowded Fishing Holes
There’s nothing worse than pulling up to your favorite fishing spot and finding that it’s been overrun with other fishers, crowding the space and scaring all the fish away. But when weather conditions are poor, you’re more likely to find your favorite fishing hole completely empty and calling to only you. And what’s better than having a whole stretch of water all to yourself?
2. Fewer People Means a Lower Risk of Overfishing
Lots of people fishing one stretch of water means a higher chance of overfishing. On crowded, sunny and warm days when the armies of amateur fishers are out in full force, you’ll be hard pressed to find a single fish who’s still looking to snap onto your hook.
When the weather is rainy, the less crowded waterways mean fish will be hungry, undisturbed and ready to feast on whatever you’ve got hanging from the end of your hook. If you’re willing to brave a little rain when others aren’t, the fish will be sure to reward you for it.
3. Fish Prefer Bad Weather
It’s true — many fish become more active when the pressure in the air changes in conjunction with an incoming storm. That’s why the sweet spot to be on the water is in the hours just before a storm fully breaks out. Sure, you might get rained on during your walk back to the car — but that’s just part of the joy of the great outdoors, right?
And air pressure isn’t the only reason fish like bad weather — the reduced visibility in the water means they feel safer from potential predators, which means they’ll be more active and less skittish about chomping down on your bait.
4. Any Success is a Bonus
Follow us here — when you devote an entire sunny, beautiful day to fishing — and you get skunked —you’re likely to be frustrated that you ‘wasted’ the great weather on a failed day of fishing. But when you push yourself to get out into the bad weather, any success you have is just a bonus. Even if you catch just one fish, you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing you turned a rainy day that otherwise might have held nothing exciting, into a winner of a catch that’s more than you expected.
5. You have the gear to keep your items safe.
Shameless plug here. Most anglers avoid bad weather because they worry about water damage to their gear, not to mention their phones, wallets and other valuables. But with your dry bag you can keep all of your gear completely dry and protected when the weather gets rough or you take a tumble into the water!