Fish in the Rain: How to Catch Spring Bass Even in Bad Weather

Video Fish in the Rain: How to Catch Spring Bass Even in Bad Weather
Fisherman casts for largemouth bass. Brian Grossenbacher

Rain beat in opposition to my gore-tex hood as I surveyed the small Ohio reservoir’s milfoil-filled cove. It was a chilly April afternoon, the sky was overcast, and the cove’s rain-spattered floor subtle what little mild was getting into the water. I wanted a conspicuous lure, one thing a bass might simply see.

I began slinging a white ½-ounce spinnerbait rigged with tandem No. 3 and No. 5 nickel Indiana blades previous small clumps of weeds, retrieving it via lanes and openings within the milfoil beds. The motion of the blades lifted the bait within the water column, permitting me to retrieve it slowly. Elevating the rod tip excessive stored the lure shallow sufficient for me to see any strikes.

After that I barely seen the rain. Greater than a dozen largemouths inhaled my lure that afternoon, the perfect seven totaling greater than 25 kilos. These had been the most efficient two hours I’ve ever spent on that lake.

Begin by Throwing Your Favourite Spinnerbait

A spinnerbait is all the time my first selection for soggy-weather springtime bass fishing. Rain is often accompanied by a falling barometer, which makes bass extra inclined to feed and chase. And the darkish skies and dimpled floor that scale back mild penetration additionally encourage bass to maneuver to the sides of their cowl.

The result’s a a lot enlarged strike zone. You don’t should put your bait inside inches of a bass’ nostril to immediate a chew. Merely get it shut sufficient for the fish to see it or sense the vibration via its lateral strains. A bass in a rainy-day mode gained’t overlook a flashing, pulsating spinnerbait.

To fish shallow water in a gentle rain, I like to make use of a light-colored lure, often a white 3/8-or ½-ounce spinnerbait with nickel blades. I go for rounded Indiana or Colorado blades, which have extra carry, once I need to run the lure slowly simply beneath the floor. If I must retrieve the bait a bit sooner or a bit deeper, I swap to narrower willowleaf blades. Heavy 15- to 20-pound-test line helps scale back break-offs in thick cowl.

When the rain breaks, or it begins showering intermittently, I downsize. A giant spinnerbait fished in slick water might look too gaudy to bass. I’ve had success going as small as 1/8 ounce, in white, with a No. 2 Indiana and a No. 3 Colorado or Oklahoma blade. If you happen to can’t discover a small spinnerbait in certainly one of these combos, purchase one which has a Colorado lead blade and a willowleaf trailing, and substitute the latter with one other Colorado. I fish these diminutive variations simply as I do the bigger ones, and with the identical heavy line. They’re able to drawing strikes from sizable bass.

Take Benefit of Pure Cowl

Largemouths will cost spinnerbaits from any kind of canopy, however they have an inclination to indicate a desire on any given day. Discover out the place the bass are at the moment holding after which focus your efforts accordingly. It’s essential probe shallow grass beds, boat docks, stumps, flooded bushes, the limbs of fallen bushes, and every other obtainable cowl till the bass inform you the place to fish for them.

Make the most of your lure’s traits when looking for these bass. The spinnerbait is likely one of the most snag-resistant lures and effectively combs huge quantities of water (even at low speeds). Solid past the quilt when doable, then information your spinnerbait near it along with your rod tip. Don’t overlook riprap and rocky banks; bass typically place themselves close by in shallow water when it rains. Transfer your boat near the financial institution, forged parallel to the shoreline, and preserve your bait arduous by the rocks all through the retrieve. While you discover these bass, you’ll overlook all concerning the climate.

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Seek for Bass Guarding Beds within the Rain

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If bass refuse to belt your spinnerbait throughout a bathe, they could be guarding beds and unwilling to chase the lure. Whereas it’s tougher to see the beds via a rain-rippled floor, the bass even have hassle seeing you. This makes them much less inclined to spook and extra prone to chew.

Michigan bass professional Kim Stricker takes benefit of this example by pitching a 3 ½-inch Gambler Strick-9 tube into beds. His favourite coloration combo is chip gold (flake) and watermelon, and he rigs it Texas-style with a 3/0 Gamakatsu EWG Superline offset hook, a 3/16-ounce bullet sinker, and 17-pound line. The heavy line helps him wrestle bass out of beds nestled in nasty cowl. —M.H.

Adapt to Altering Climate in Actual Time

Every spring, starting in February and persevering with into Might, former world champion bass event professional Mark Davis spends virtually as a lot time finding out water temperature as he does lure selection and his pace of retrieve. That’s as a result of presently of yr all three are extra interrelated than at every other season. “The important thing in early spring is a warming development wherein the water temperature rises simply 4 or 5 levels,” notes Davis, who started finding out water temperature’s results on bass greater than 20 years in the past as a information on Lake Ouachita in Arkansas. “Only a slight change like this is sufficient to make bass extra energetic and begin them shifting towards shallow water.

“The precise temperature itself is relative to no matter area of the nation you’re fishing,” he continues, “so don’t fear if the water reads 38 levels, 47 levels, or no matter. It’s extra necessary to find out how bass react to the change itself.”

When the Climate is Heating Up

Two components that generally trigger water temperatures to rise in spring are, naturally, sunshine, and surprisingly, rain. Of those, rain impacts bass the quickest.

“Spring rains, even in February, are steadily a number of levels hotter than the lake water,” Davis explains. “So that you need to fish locations the place runoff is flowing in, similar to smaller tributary creeks and ditches. Bigger tributaries and rivers might change into too muddy in the event that they’re flushing lots of new water into the system.”

Bass will transfer to those smaller runoff areas inside hours, and you could even see them begin chasing minnows and small baitfish. Their transformation is that sudden. Small crankbaits and spinnerbaits fished close to the floor are notably efficient because the hotter water will keep on prime of the colder water. Sadly, this runoff exercise seldom lasts longer than two to 3 days, as a result of because the water disperses it progressively cools and the bass decelerate accordingly. This could be a good time to maneuver to the bigger tributaries and take a look at the identical methods if the water there has cleared.

A number of days of warming sunshine in early spring can set off the identical fast change in bass exercise, and once more, an upward swing in water temperature of simply 4 or 5 levels is all it takes. One of the best warming tendencies are these wherein the nighttime air temperature doesn’t dip beneath the temperature of the water, that means a full 24 hours of steady warming.

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After two or three days of such circumstances, bass will start shifting to creeks, bays, and smaller coves and pockets, typically on northern shorelines that obtain essentially the most sunshine. Keep in mind, additionally, that barely stained or dingy water will heat faster than clear water.

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“What I search for are secondary factors, humps, and ditches adjoining to doable spawning areas,” Davis says, “and these are typically the identical locations yr after yr.

“I like steeper banks, particularly these with good cowl, as a result of the deeper water permits bass to maneuver vertically if the water begins to chill once more.”

Lure selections for these circumstances embrace small crankbaits that dive to about 10 ft, suspending jerkbaits, and jigs. Erratic stop-and-go retrieves produce the perfect outcomes. When the Climate Begins Cooling Down

Simply as a rising temperature causes bass to change into energetic, a sudden drop-which additionally occurs steadily within the spring-makes them torpid and troublesome to catch. Many anglers imagine these chilly fronts drive bass from shallow water again to their deep-water haunts, however Davis isn’t so positive.

“I imagine staging bass, those who had been within the technique of shifting shallow when the temperature fell, are the bass most probably to maneuver deeper once more. However I believe that after a bass commits itself to spawning and goes to a mattress, it should keep on or close to that mattress. It could transfer a brief distance into thick cowl and change into virtually completely inactive, however the staging fish that moved again deep can nonetheless be caught.”

As soon as once more, the bottom line is not how a lot the water temperature really cools, however the truth that it does change and change into colder. The fish that do return to deeper water often make this transfer in a short time, however they typically cease on the first obtainable depth change, which can be solely 50 yards away.

In looking for these fish, Davis recommends progressively fishing from the shallow water the place the bass had been towards deeper water, paying explicit consideration to each vegetation (which is able to maintain bass in chilly temperatures) and sharp depth modifications like ditches or channels. These breaks don’t essentially should be greater than 3 or 4 ft.

“Jigs, slow-moving crankbaits you’ll be able to bounce alongside the underside, and spoons are all good selections,” Davis says. “Crankbaits could also be the perfect for locating fish, after which you’ll be able to change to a jig or spoon to work them extra exactly.”

The rationale Davis is just not notably involved with particular water temperatures within the spring is due to the massive variation in bass exercise he has skilled in February, March, and April. He has caught bass in water as chilly as 38 levels, by sliding his lure over floor ice and dropping it into an open gap. He commonly finds bass spawning in water as chilly as 52 levels, almost 20 levels colder than what fisheries biologists as soon as thought-about doable. -S.P.

Predict Climate Earlier than You Begin Fishing by Finding out Clouds

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Earlier than you begin out within the morning, or when planning for the following day, you’ll be able to look to the skies to verify the climate. Even when the climate has been cooperative someday and also you’ve caught fish, the clouds can inform you if that development will proceed.

You’ll be able to precisely predict the climate for an impending 24-hour interval for those who consider a number of cloud formations. Every kind of cloud types in its personal means, and every brings its personal set of circumstances:

Cirrus Clouds

From the Latin for curled, these clouds look feathered, like an outstretched horse’s tail, and so they kind excessive within the sky, at as much as 40,000 ft. If the wind is coming from the northeast, east, or south, anticipate rain within the subsequent 24 hours. With a wind from the southwest, west, or north, it will likely be clear and calm.

Stratus Clouds

Grey and low, stratus clouds all the time portend foul climate. With winds from the northeast or the south, depend on heavy rain. If the wind is coming from every other path, it will likely be overcast with a slight drizzle.

Cumulus Clouds

Cumulus clouds appear like cauliflower, and so they’re typically as tall as they’re vast. They kind on sunny days, and it by no means rains with them overhead. They’re low-flying, fluffy white shapes projected in opposition to an azure sky.

Cumulonimbus Clouds

Morphing from cumulus clouds, these ominous, darkish clouds are a lot bigger and extra vertical. Mustering into towering black lots, they’ll kind the squall line of a chilly entrance and are topped with thunderheads formed like anvils. Count on wind, rain, thunder, and lightning. —J.M.

How One Bass Professional Adjustments Ways for Prespawn Bass in Unhealthy Climate

Bass professional James Caldemeyer (, who calls Lake Fork, Texas residence, has been a professional angler since 2004, and has fished Lake Fork over 20 years. At present, he fishes the FLW tour, and shared his secrets and techniques for catching bass in unhealthy climate.

Prespawn Fail

Folks assume the climate needs to be good and there needs to be a warming development to catch prespawn largemouths, however Caldemeyer says, “Really, it’s the precise reverse. A entrance is a entrance whatever the time of yr it exhibits up, and fronts produce bites.” He watches for inclement climate, together with sleet and snow, and targets true prespawn monsters throughout these transitional circumstances.

Sport Changer

Caldemeyer is aware of that feminine bass are at their peak weight earlier than the spawn. He seems to be for the giants on main-lake factors and secondary factors main into the spawning creeks and flats. “These are the areas the place the fish will likely be staging,” he says. “Any bait that resembles a crawfish will catch them.”

Caldemeyer has essentially the most big-fish success when the factors even have stumps or grass. Across the stumps, jigs are his major producer. His favourite is a Santone Rattlin’ Jig in black-blue, and he suggestions it with a Berkley Chigger Craw in black-blue fleck. For fishing over grass, he’ll use a lipless crankbait in pink or brown to imitate a crawfish. -M.M.

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