Do Catfish Bite After a Rain?

A channel cat takes me for a run in a flooded creek

Do catfish bite after a rain. Short answer is yes! Catfish often feed very heavily after a rain, especially in the summer months. Rain washes nutrients and food into the water from the bank. This provides catfish with easy meals.


The Best Time of Year to Fish After a Rain

The best time of year to fish after a rain is the spring to the summer. The catfish are already moving in shallow to feed on small bait fish and anything else they can find. When you add rain to this mix is when it gets even better. Catfish are already amped up in the warmer months, so that extra rush of fresh rain water just sets them off.

A smiling channel catfish

All the food that is flushed into the water due to the rain only adds to the already hot summer bite. Sometimes I find if it hasn’t rained in a good 2 weeks, the fishing dies down a bit. The summer heat gets to the fish, just like it gets to us. You need that constant flush of rain water to keep the catfish and the bite going.


Finding Catfish After a Rain

I have had a lot of experience fishing for catfish after a rain. I have found the best spots tend to be creeks, and slower moving rivers. For creeks try to fish the eddies and current seams, as these will be prime areas to fish catfish after a flood.

A very high and muddy potomac river

Toss your bait right in the edge of the current, but not quite in it. Behind structure with current breaks like trees and rocks are also key areas. Really anywhere you can find where the current is breaking is a great spot to place your baits.

For rivers I generally fish closer to the bank. Catfish will more than likely be patrolling the bank looking for the food that was washed into the water. Using a piece of garlic chicken liver can be deadly in murky water. This is my go to bait when fishing flooded creeks. The amount of scent it puts out will get the attention of anything in the area.

I have caught both channel and blue catfish on garlic liver.


Best Bait After a Rain

The best catfish bait after a rain varies on location. You typically want to focus on the natural source of food for catfish. For example, if you are fishing a muddy creek with lots of worms and bugs, you should probably use nightcrawlers. Same thing if you have lots of small Panfish in a local river, you may want to try cut or live panfish.

Also note that catfish will most likely by relying on smell rather then sight after a hard rain. When the water gets muddied and high, it can make it tough for cats to see anything.


Best Catfish Rig in Flooded Water

The best catfish rig in flood conditions is the 3 way rig. The way its set up, the weight and leader are easily separated by the swivel. This means less tangles in your line, and more time with bait in the water.

The sliding sinker rig is easily tangled in fast moving water. The bait can drag much further away from the weight. Another rig that may be effective after a flood is a slip bobber rig. If you are fishing a lake closer to shore, or fishing the eddies in rivers, you can pick off some nice catfish. Simply toss your bait into slow moving sections of water, and wait for a bite.

You usually only have to wait a few seconds to a minute to see if a fish is there. If you don’t get bit then move on to the next Eddie, and the next, and the next. There is bound to be a few fish hanging out in the slack water. This is a natural place for food to be, and catfish do follow the food.


Do Catfish Bite During the Rain?

You can catch catfish in pretty much every condition out there. Catfish do bite during a rain, but not as much as after the rain. In my experience, in a major downpour the bite subsides, or at least slows down. Right after a rain however, the bite really picks up.

For some reason once that rain stops hitting the water, the fish go crazy. The fresh sediment with nutrients, worms, bugs, and all the other things that were washed into the water, catfish gorge on. The rise in water and lowered clarity make it perfect catfishing conditions.


Do Catfish Bite After a Rain in the Winter?

In the winter time the rain can have the a negative effect on the fishing. In the winter, the way is already cold, so when there is more of that cold water being dumped into the river, the fish will only spread out more and go deeper.

Hooked up!

Sometimes, if you get that weird patch of weather where it is warm for a few days and then it rains, fishing can be good. For the most part though, the rain does not put the fish in like it does in the warm months. The winter is already a tough time to catch catfish, but the rain can make that a bit worse.

In my experience, the rain has either had no effect on the bite, or made it worse. It can be very frustrating during the colder months, but you just have to stay persistent and not give up.


Do Catfish Bite After a Snow?

The snow has a relatively negative effect on catfishing. Unless your fishing a warm water discharge, then the snow will only make the water colder. This will result in the fish being more inactive and likely stop feeding.

As much as I would love to say catfish bite after a snow storm, I can say this is not the case. Of course this all depends on your body of water, and your logistics of it. Right before a snow storm is a different story.

A channel cat caught in a flooded creek

Right before any kind of storm or front, catfish have a natural tendency to feed. They want to “stock” up on food before the snow hits the water. So before a snow storm you may see some of the activity pick up.

Winter is tough fishing anyways, but you may get lucky and see that spurt of bites before the snow storm begins. If you have the option of fishing before the storm or after, I would go with before.

Explore New Spots

When it rains, there comes a whole new selection of new spots. Remember that dry creek? That could now be a serious honey hole for catfish. Explore the surrounding area that you fish. You could just find a gem of a spot. The local creek that I fish is connected to the main river.

When it floods, there is a large amount of bank that I would be usually standing on, underwater. I have caught fish literally right in front of me in the water. On any other day, I would not even consider fishing it. The fast moving flood water pushes the catfish close to the bank in pockets of slack water. This makes it so easy for you to pick them off right in front of you.

That’s it! I hope I helped you at least a little bit with fishing after a rain.

Be sure to stay tuned into my Youtube Channel to stay up to date on all of my adventures!

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