with Ott DeFoe
If you’re an enthusiastic bass fisherman who fishes 2-4 times per month, there will be a day when you get caught in the rain. As a tournament angler, I not only have to fish in the rain, I often have to fish in a downpour. The only time tournament anglers are called off the water is if there’s lightning, or if the waves are so high that being out on the water isn’t safe.
The key to catching bass during these kinds of conditions is preparing ahead of time. I keep an Onyx rainsuit in Mossy Oak Elements Agua in my boat all the time. The weatherman is not always accurate about when a rainstorm is going to come in, so I need to have a rainsuit in my boat to put on as soon as the rain begins. One of the mistakes that bass fishermen sometimes make is to wait until they’re already wet before putting on their rainsuits. If you do that, you will be uncomfortable all day.
In some areas of the country, a rainstorm will cause the bass to start biting. Elsewhere, the rain will slow down the bite and make catching a bass tough. For instance, smallmouths like bright sun and clear skies, so if you get rain on a lake with a lot of smallmouths in it, fishing can become difficult. But if you’re fishing a lake in Tennessee, Kentucky or Alabama, cloudy days with rain may turn bass on to biting.
Where you’re fishing, and what type of bass you’re fishing for will dictate how you react to a rainy day. If the rain causes smallmouths to not bite aggressively, then I know I’ll have to slow down, use smaller lures and try to land every bite I get. If I’m fishing a southern lake, I smile through the rain and fish faster and bigger baits. When rain hits in a northern lake where I’m fishing for smallmouths, I want to fish lures that will hug the bottom. I’ll drag drop shot and tube-type baits on the bottom. If I’m fishing in the South, and rain comes in, I’ll fish top-water lures like a Storm Arashi Top Walker, as well as spinner baits, bladed jigs and square-billed crankbaits. A buzzbait is also a good top-water lure that puts off a lot of sound and vibration.