Do Catfish Bite in the Rain?

Catfishing in the rain

According to many testimonies of anglers, fishing for catfish during rains improves the chances of impressive catches. However, it’s more than hearsay. 

There is no doubt that catfish will bite at any time of the day or night, regardless of the season. However, many anglers believe that these fish are more likely to bite when it’s raining. So, if you want to bag impressive catfish sizes, fishing for them while it’s raining may be a good idea.

But is there proof that catfish bite more in the rain?

Some research has shown rainy conditions can create favorable conditions that make fishing for catfish much easier and more satisfying. Not to worry, we’ll share this information with you.

In a few moments, we’ll explore why catfish may be more likely to bite when it rains.

Why Do Catfish Bite During Rain?

If you’re wondering why catfish bite when it’s raining, look no further. Here are some of the top reasons experts believe catfish bite during the rain:

Rain Brings More Food

More rain means more food, which means increased catfish activity. In addition, when it rains, the raindrops make the water more cloudy and boost the level of dissolved oxygen in the water. This improves the ‘living’ conditions in the water and makes catfish more active.

Furthermore, rain also creates ground and surface runoff, and transports dissolved nutrients from the soil into the water. This provides more food for catfish in the water and increases their activity. As a result, they are more likely to bite when it’s raining.

Catfish Love Deep Water

Rain causes water levels to rise. When this happens, it exposes more hunting grounds in the water, and catfish love this. They like to hunt in the deep waters near an undercut bank or overhand and usually go to such areas during heavy rainfall.

Interestingly, as increasing water levels stir up dirt and food bits from the bottom of the water, it also causes more murkiness and reduces visibility. But, unlike other fish that hunt primarily with their sight, catfish use their sense of smell and feel to find their food.

In other words, they gain a tactical advantage when it rains.

Reduced Water Temperature

Rainfall generally reduces the temperature of water bodies. However, if the rain comes after particularly extended periods of intense sun, catfish appreciate the lower temperatures even more.

The cooler water means more comfort for fish and makes it more convenient to move around and hunt for food. This increased activity leaves them more exposed and makes it easier for you to catch them.

Rain Changes Water Clarity

Water clarity changes when it rains. However, how it affects the water clarity depends on how heavy the rain is.

However, as a rule of thumb, the heavier the rain, the muddier the water gets. This is due to the dirt, soil, and other particles that the rain washes into rivers and other water bodies, which then cloud up the water.

Fun fact? Experts believe catfish love these conditions and may become more active when they happen.

This is because catfish do not hunt primarily with sight. Instead, they use their sense of feel and smell. In other words, catfish typically have the upper hand in muddy waters and similar conditions. It’s no wonder they are notorious night hunters!

So, as long as your bait has enough scent, chances are catfish will bite even when it’s raining. 

Fishing for Catfish: Rain in the Summer

Generally, hotter temperatures during the summer mean that catfish will usually try to find as much cool and oxygen-rich water as possible. More often than not, this means the deepest parts of the water with plenty of food within close reach.

However, when it rains, both air and water temperatures decrease. This makes the water much more comfortable, boosts catfish activity levels, and improves your chances of snagging a catch. 

Fishing for Catfish: Rain during the Winter

During winter, catfish typically dive deeper into their wintering holes in search of warmer temperatures. However, the slightly warmer temperatures may also cause catfish to venture higher in the river or lake when it rains. 

But, this does not necessarily make it easier to catch them.

Unlike when catfish are down into their wintering holes, locating and catching mobile catfish is more challenging as you cannot tell where they would be. But, on the bright side, they will typically be trying to feed during this time and may come in search of your bait.

Nonetheless, locating and catching catfish in their wintering holes is usually more straightforward than trying to fish for them when it rains during winter.

Where Do Catfish Go When It rains?

The answer is simple — they follow the food.

Since catfish typically try to look for food when it’s raining, you would have a better chance of catching them if you set up your fishing gear at the entrance of creeks. This way, when catfish try to enter the stream from larger rivers to search for food, they may bite your bait.

Pro Tip? You are more likely to get better results if you fish in the more narrow channel parts that lead into the creek.

The catfish can sense your bait much faster and are more likely to bite in such positions.

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