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How to fish heavy rains?

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It has been going in and out of rain every couple hours for the past week with extremely hard rains during the night and I haven't been able to catch fish. Air temp is about 45 degrees throughout the day. How should I approach this situation? The only bites I have gotten have been casting towards air pumps near a dam in deep water with a shakey head (I am on the shore). Any suggestions? Thanks!

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Find the water inlets and work a weight less black blue worm.  Cast it up into the flow and let the water carry it into the main lake.  I like to do this with square bill cranks also bUT may not be an option depending on your angle to the flow.

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If the bass are Florida strain LMB water temps below 50 degrees puts them into a near shock condition, 45 degrees is their lower survival limit. Northern strain LMB, Spotted bass and Smallmouth bass cold water isn't a major health factor but slows down thier matabelism.

Rain water is very low in dissolved oxygen however windy surface conditions re oxygenates the DO levels. It's uncomfortable to fish cold rain wind blown areas, but if the water is above 50 degrees the bass will be more active at those locations. Storms aren't much fun to bass in but pre spawn bass during the rainy periods are hunting crawdads and catching a bass of your lifetime is possible.

Tom

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My second best day last year was when I was caught in a wind driven downpour and had to wait it out near a channel .  The top water hits were outstanding and I was rewarded for freezing my button off.  The Pompadour shined!

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Unless I was fishing a tournament, its time to pack up and go home.  I'm not going to be miserable to catch some fish.

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Put your big boy pants on and get out there and find the fish. Not knowing how far north you are, I'll just add a little tidbit.  If the daytime air temps are warmer that the water temp. a steady few days of rain will do two things; raise the surface temp and the water level.  Shallow, newly flooded cover and incoming water flow are two major targets under those conditions.  If, on the other hand, that rain is colder than the water temp it will turn the fish off and that means, deep this early in the season.  Look for sharp drop-offs as you would during the winter and you are at an advantage as working your presentation up the drop, you'll be able to maintain bottom contact much easier than attempting to work it down from a boat.

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The OP is in Northern CA where it has been raining for a week and he is onshore.

It should be close to pre spawn with raising water colder then the surface water, therefore moving bass tight to structure. 

My rule of thumb is Spring up, Fall down...the direction the bass are moving and your lure should. Crawdads are primary food and stocked trout; Jigs and swimbaits around major points.

Tom

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1 hour ago, NHBull said:

My second best day last year was when I was caught in a wind driven downpour and had to wait it out near a channel .  The top water hits were outstanding and I was rewarded for freezing my button off.  The Pompadour shined!

It is a little bit too cold for topwater unfortunately

50 minutes ago, papajoe222 said:

Put your big boy pants on and get out there and find the fish. Not knowing how far north you are, I'll just add a little tidbit.  If the daytime air temps are warmer that the water temp. a steady few days of rain will do two things; raise the surface temp and the water level.  Shallow, newly flooded cover and incoming water flow are two major targets under those conditions.  If, on the other hand, that rain is colder than the water temp it will turn the fish off and that means, deep this early in the season.  Look for sharp drop-offs as you would during the winter and you are at an advantage as working your presentation up the drop, you'll be able to maintain bottom contact much easier than attempting to work it down from a boat.

It is a weird situation because all of my local lakes are down 30+ feet although it is raining so heavily. I am located in the Bay Area FYI.

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When I lived out west Orville and Shasta were great in the spring rains....especially where water was flowing in.  May be to far for ya though.

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It may have already been said, but fish outflows from drains. If it's safe, of course. I have not done well DURING the rain with my Florida strain fish , or not too well directly after a rain. But it can be outstanding if the water had no movement and the rain causes current to occur. This seems to be especially true in a narrow funnel from one water body to the next.

For some reason, they do not bite well for me during the rain or directly after, but at some point sometimes a few hours later. Maybe it takes awhile for the baitfish and then bass  to congregate, or the water has to clear up enough. I have had 10 bites on as many casts in my home lake at our little spillway when these conditions occur.

I have caught them on a variety of baits.

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Last Monday I went out to my two neighborhood ponds. 58* with 58* water temp, prespawn condition but raining lighly, gloomy, dreary - had best two hours ever in these ponds, caught two 2 lb'ers in 20 minutes, then three over next hour, smallest 1.55 lb.

 

May not seem great to a lot of you but for these small over pressured, grass carp infested, lack of hydrilla, muddy flat bottomed neighborhood ponds it is really good.

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General rule of thumb in the spring, rising water will move bass shallow and tight to cover. You usually have to fish all sides of the cover as there will be no telling where they’ll relate and won’t chase. 

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The problem has not been the rain as much as the temp drop out here. Clearlake water temps changed 6 degrees from one weekend to the next. This time of year a few degrees can change to bite drastically. Now that the ground is saturated the next few storms should help the bite but is has been tough as hell to get bit over the last few weeks.

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My grandmother told me many years ago that her mother, my great grandmother, would only go fishing if it was raining.  She said that was the only time that the fishing was worthwhile bothering with.  That was at Balsam Lake in west central Wisconsin, and she would have been fishing there in the period from about 1910 through about 1940. 

 

I always loved those days when it would rain gently all day long, with almost no wind, and and they definitely were still good days to fish in the 1950's when I was growing up.  I think I miss them in part because days like that are extremely rare out here on the prairie along the eastern side of the Rockies.  Around here rain usually comes with lightning, wind, hail and sometimes tornadoes.

 

But even back then I still preferred warm sunny to partly cloudy days for fishing, even if the catching maybe wasn't always quite as good.  Just physically more pleasant. and I didn't have to dump rainwater out of my tackle box afterward. :fishing:

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