Is Bass Fishing Good After a Storm? (90% More Catches)

Is Bass Fishing Good After a Storm? yes, Bass fishing can be good after a storm, as the change in barometric pressure and increased water flow stimulate feeding activity. However, visibility may be reduced due to turbid water, so reaction baits like crankbaits and spinnerbaits that trigger strikes through vibration can be more effective than lures relying on sight. Focus on current breaks, cover, and other ambush spots bass use during a turnover to find active biters after stormy conditions.

Is Bass Fishing Good After a Storm

Bass fishing after a storm can be some of the best fishing of the summer. Heavy rains, thunderstorms, and changing barometric pressure affect fish behaviour and location. Understanding how storms impact your favourite bass fishing lakes is key to continued angling success when the weather turns foul.

This in-depth article will cover everything you need to know about fishing after a storm, from where the bass goes during the thunderstorm to proven fishing tips for locating and catching more fish once the skies clear. Is Bass Fishing Good After a Storm? Let’s dive in!

Yes, bass typically move into shallow shoreline cover and newly flooded areas after rains to take advantage of higher water levels.

How Thunderstorms Affect Bass Fishing

Storms affect fishing conditions in several ways that both help and hurt the bass bite. Here are the key effects heavy rain and thunderstorms have on your favourite fisheries:

●     Dropping barometric pressure triggers a feeding instinct in many gamefish species. Bass sense the coming storm and become more active.

●     Muddy, stirred up water after downpours camouflage bass and allow them to more easily ambush prey. Increased turbidity gives them an advantage.

●     Cooler water from heavy rains can perk up lethargic bass in the heart of summer, especially across the southern United States. This is a welcome change from oppressive summertime heat.

● But excessive runoff and flooding can also dirty the water too much, making fishing difficult. There is a fine line between slightly stained water benefiting bass versus muddy banks and zero visibility shutting down the bite.

●     High winds during the storm can disrupt and scatter baitfish schools that bass key on. Bait gets displaced, and bass has a harder time pinpointing food sources.

While the most intense rainstorms might hamper the bite for a day or two, more often, the changing weather patterns brought by storms help concentrate and activate bass to feed. Anglers shouldn’t fear foul weather but understand how to adapt to storm-driven changes in fish behaviour and location.

Where Do Bass Go During a Storm?

When thunderheads start building on the horizon, bass don’t hover out in open water waiting for the storm to hit. They instinctively seek shelter and refuge. Here are prime areas to find largemouth bass when the skies open up:

●     Tight to heavy cover like downed logs, rocky overhangs, boat docks, and brush piles. These broken-up structural spots give bass overhead protection as well as ambush points to attack prey.

●     Ditches, canals, and feeder creeks that are more protected from the wind. These drainage areas also funnel baitfish and allow the bass to stage in predictable ambush points as bait pours in trying to escape the storm.

●     Offshore structures like humps, creek channels, main lake points, and ledges that offer depth and refuge. During storms, baitfish gravitate towards these areas, and hungry bass follow.

●     Under thick floating vegetation mats that shelter bass from rain, allow them to maintain their position despite the wind, and provide shade from brighter skies once the storm passes. The heavy canopy also blocks their presence from above while allowing them to continue scanning for prey forced beneath the mat.

●     Around shallow cover such as lily pad fields and hydrilla edges that give them overhead cover and remain hidden while enhancing their ability to ambush nearby baitfish in poor visibility.

After the rain storm passes, bass gradually fan back out from their shelter spots to resume feeding. But keying on those storm refuge areas right after the tempest rolls through is a good bet to cross paths with hungry post-front fish. Focus your search efforts around the best sheltering habitat each body of water offers.

Post-Storm Fishing Tactics: Adapting to Changing Conditions

Fishing right after a storm requires adjusting your lure selection and fishing tactics to account for shifts in bass disposition, location, and feeding motivations brought on by the changing weather.

Here are three go-to tactics for stormy days that will help you adapt and capitalize on suddenly active fish:

Target Shallow Shoreline Structure

Focus much of your search efforts shallow, targeting shoreline structures like laydowns, overhanging brush, docks, riprap banks, and any wood cover or vegetation near the water’s edge.

The reasoning is twofold. One, these broken-up shoreline areas give bass and baitfish shelter during the storm. Two, feeder creeks and rising water levels pour nutrients and baitfish into these areas for bass to intercept.

Casting Square Bill crankbaits, shallow diving jerk baits like Rapala X-Raps, or bladed jigs to shoreline cover is a classic post-front pattern to draw reaction strikes from hungry bass.

Work Creek Mouths and Current Breaks

Pay close attention to where feeder creeks enter the main lake, as these drainage points hold concentrations of baitfish and nutrients washing in from rising waters. The current seams created where faster-moving creek channels meet stiller lake water serve as ambush points for bass waiting to pick off helpless baitfish caught in the churning current.

The key to successful bass fishing after a storm is to focus on areas with cover and structure, such as weed beds, fallen trees, and rocky shorelines.

Target creek mouths by casting crankbaits like Wee-Craws, Rat-L-Traps, and other lipless rattling models that mimic injured baitfish struggling in the current. Slow rolling or dragging jigs with plastic trailers around the creek mouth shorelines is another producer as bass hold tight to cover, waiting to strike.

Use Bright Baits and Loud Lures

Muddy water and poor visibility brought on by heavy runoff call for bright-coloured baits and loud lures to get noticed. The flash and noise will draw more reaction strikes. Opt for spinnerbaits, shallow cranks, and topwater poppers in high-visibility colours like chartreuse, orange, or white.

On jigs and soft plastics, enhance profiles with hydrophilic skirts, rattles, or blade tails that put off vibration. You want to appeal to the bass’ senses of hearing and lateral line detection since visibility is reduced. Making a ruckus helps your lure get noticed!

How Long After a Storm is Bass Fishing Good?

If it was a quick, mild summertime pop-up storm, the bass might continue gorging even as the final raindrops fall. Their metabolism and hunger levels are high in the peak months of summer, so short-term storms may only briefly startle them into seeking momentary shelter before resuming feeding.

But after an intense, prolonged weather event like a day-long series of thunderstorms or drenching downpours, give the lake a day to normalize and stabilize before hitting the water again. Serious storms may require longer for fish to resume their regular habits and locations. Fishing is often excellent once some stability returns post-front.

The key is that as much as heavy rain and thunderstorms can briefly hamper fishing during and just after, these tempests often turn on the bass bite leading up to, then strongly improve it for several days after passing. Anglers shouldn’t fear foul weather but rather embrace storms for the feeding opportunities they offer.

Bass relies heavily on changes in barometric pressure to signal approaching storms or cold fronts. They’ve evolved to use these dropping pressure shifts to gorge themselves before and after fronts in preparation for recovery from the severe weather. It cues a feeding instinct.

So don’t be afraid to hit the water even with thunder still rumbling in the distance. Just exercise proper lightning safety by having a plan to exit the lake quickly at the first sign of possible danger. Then, once the sun returns, it’s time to cash in on stellar post-storm bass fishing!

Fishing Before an Approaching Storm – Should You Go?

Many savvy anglers target the hours before an approaching storm or cold front. Why? Dropping barometric pressure before a storm system arrives often triggers a feeding frenzy in all species of fish, including bass, panfish, walleyes, and more.

Don’t be afraid to try different lures and techniques when fishing after a storm. Bass can be more aggressive and willing to strike during these conditions.

Signs that pre-storm fishing could be good include:

● Darkening skies, increasing winds, and temperature drops.

● Steady falling barometer reading over an hour (check fishing apps on your phone).

● Visible baitfish activity near the surface and bass-busting schools.

In these conditions, right before a storm, target shoreline wood cover, rocky points, weed edges, docks, and creek channel openings where baitfish retreat, trying to find shelter from the coming tempest.

Have a jerk bait, lipless crankbait, swimbait, or walking topwater lure tied on and ready to capitalize during the pre-storm frenzy. Focus on making long casts to keep your lure in the productive strike zone longer. Work baits aggressively with an erratic action to mimic wounded baitfish. Hang on once they start biting!

Of course, keep a close watch on the skies and weather radar and get yourself off the water before lightning becomes a serious hazard. Don’t take unnecessary risks, but take advantage of brief windows of stellar fishing just ahead of approaching storms.

Bass Fishing After a Cold Front

While summer storms are often passing thundershowers, cold fronts in late fall through early spring bring more prolonged drops in air temperature and atmospheric pressure, along with windy conditions. This can momentarily turn off the bite for a day or so.

But once a cold front passes and the new cooler air mass stabilizes, clear blue skies and plummeting water temperature reinvigorate lethargic bass that had settled into lazy summer patterns. These drastic weather changes force them into a more active fall-like feeding mode.

As the front passes, quickly falling barometric pressure triggers a final summertime feeding flurry for bass and baitfish. Savvy anglers will be out on the water capitalizing during this window before the front’s arrival shuts things down for a short period.

Then, in the days after the front passes and the weather stabilizes, fish transition away from their summer habitats. They pull out of thick shallow weed beds where they’re now more exposed and congregate instead on creek channels, offshore structures, and shaded cover.

With cooler water temperatures, the metabolism of baitfish and crayfish slows down. This means easy pickings for opportunistic bass waiting in ambush areas to pick off lethargic meals.

Presenting slow-moving jigs and big diving crankbaits that bump off the bottom excels in post-cold front conditions. Focus on the bottom structure near sharper depth breaks where baitfish gather. Bouncing jigs slowly down drop-offs. Pinpoint clusters of fish are suspended off points and channel ledges with your electronics to maximize your time.

How Storms Impact Water Clarity, Oxygen, & Cover

Beyond understanding fish behaviour, storms also drastically impact water conditions and cover that, in turn, influences the fish’s location and feeding. Analyzing these environmental factors can clue anglers into predicting where the bass will set up after storm fronts.

Water Clarity

Of all the water conditions storms affect, clarity is perhaps the most significant. Runoff from heavy rains can muddy up clear lakes in a hurry. Stained water that had been clear can turn into chocolate milk, especially in shallow fisheries.

Light penetration is reduced, changing the Way bass have to hunt compared to clear water, where they rely more on eyesight. Their other senses, like vibration detection, become more important.

As noted earlier, mild staining can activate their predatory reaction to ambush unseen prey. But thick sediment and zero visibility will shut down the bite. Search for areas like old river channels where clearer water is pulled into the lake from springs or incoming tributaries.

Water Oxygen

Turnover events when oxygen-depleted water on the bottom gets circulated upward happen after summer storms. This can force baitfish and bass away from the bottom structure until oxygen levels stabilize. Look for them on transitional depth breaks or suspended offshore instead of clinging tight to deep cover.

Water Temperature

While not as impactful as runoff, torrential rains can slightly cool surface temperatures. Colder water sinks and pushes fish deeper. If temps drop significantly, warming trends through the day cause bass to move shallower, following their comfort zone.

Flooded Cover

Rising waters inundate shoreline vegetation, bushes, and terrestrial structures, forming new shallow water cover. Bass seek out these freshly flooded areas to ambush baitfish. Floating worm rigs or weightless flukes skipped into tangled shoreline brush are perfect when water levels are high.

Post-Storm Location Patterns

When tournament anglers see storms enter the forecast, they begin mapping out a plan for where to target bass before, during, and after fronts. Novice anglers can learn to analyze likely storm refuge areas and patterns to focus their fishing efforts.

Here are key fish behaviours that determine where bass will move when storms hit:

●     Relocate from normal feeding areas to sheltering structures and cover during the worst of storms.

●     Follow baitfish that migrate towards incoming currents and structure.

●     Hang tight to solid cover like docks, stumps, and timber that shields from lightning.

●     Slide deeper or suspend under vegetation as skies brighten post-front.

●     Roam drainage areas and new shallows created by flooded water.

●     Ambush around current breaks and structure that concentrates prey.

●     Transition offshore from matted grass once the water cools.

Use these movements and feeding motivations to decide where to focus your search efforts as the weather changes.

Storm Safety While Fishing – Avoiding Lightning

Anglers are often so determined to maximize storm-driven bite windows that they’ll push safety limits regarding lightning dangers. Don’t take unnecessary risks when thunderstorms roll in.

Here are tips for staying safe on the water when storms strike:

● Check weather forecasts and radar before leaving so you aren’t caught off guard.

● At the first sight of lightning or the sound of thunder, head to shelter immediately. Don’t wait!

● Get away from the trolling motor and any gear that could attract lightning during the storm.

● Have a plan for where you’ll take shelter if storms arrive unexpectedly. Don’t anchor under trees or near potential grounding points.

● Wait 30 minutes after hearing the last thunder before resuming fishing. Don’t jump the gun.

● Keep rain gear and life jackets handy in case you need to evacuate offshore structures in a hurry.

● If no suitable shelter is available, hunker down low in the boat away from metal objects and high profiles.

Exercising smart caution will allow you to safely enjoy stellar fishing during storm windows rather than fear nasty weather.

Tackling Tough Post-Front Conditions

While perfect post-cold front conditions see bluebird skies, light winds, and hungry, active fish, the reality can sometimes be the opposite. Double-digit wind gusts, lingering clouds, and stale water can hamper the bite. Here are tips to overcome post-front tough bites:

Grind Deeper Structure – Windy weather sees bass tucked tighter to cover in depths over 15 feet. Drag jigs and deep cranks across channel ledges, humps, and creek intersections.

Slow Way Down – High pressure puts bass in an ultra-negative mood. Slow roll 3/8 oz football jigs and give long pauses of up to a minute between subtle twitches and drops. Tickle their curiosity to get bit.

Downsize Offerings – Tiny 2-3″ inch finesse worms and shaky heads become king after cold fronts. Match the hatch when baitfish are inactive to entice picky eaters.

Stick To Subtle Colors – Natural hues like green pumpkin, watermelon, brown, and black work when brighter colours spook them. Silhouette baits against a bluebird sky.

Target Warmer Water – In the afternoon, see sun-warming shallow banks or calm sheltered pockets. These slightly warmer spots hold more active fish when water temps drop significantly.

Pay close attention to conditions on the day you head out and adjust your approach accordingly. Adapt and keep adjusting until you solve the bite.

Spring Cold Front Fishing

While spring offers more moderate temperature swings compared to winter fronts, the bass fishing impacts are much greater in the pre-spawn and early spawn periods. Their biological clock depends heavily on stable weather.

When a sudden cold front disrupts warming trends in late winter and early spring, it can set the spawn back by weeks. Bass are likely to pull off beds and become inactive after weather changes.

However, a few warm days after the front restarts warming trends and stabilizes, the bass begins moving shallow again. The uptick in water temps coupled with new moon phases can lead to excellent fishing as they go on the chew to make up for lost feeding time.

Hit shallow wood, emerging weed lines, and dark bottom areas warmed by the sun. Search out spawning pockets and look for bass that return quickly to beds. Moving baits like Chatterbaits, square bills, and bladed jigs excel at aggravating them into biting when still in a transitional funk.

Why Spotted Bass Love Storms

While largemouths get much of the focus from bass anglers, their smaller cousins, spotted bass, thrive under stormy conditions. Here’s why:

●     Cooler Water – Spots have a lower thermal tolerance than largemouths. Cooler temps activate them.

●     Higher Oxygen – Runoff churns up lake water, raising oxygen levels that spots prefer.

●     Offshore Habitat – Spots spend more time offshore around structures and channels than largemouths.

●     Schooling Fish – Spotted bass keep tighter schools than solitary largemouths, feeding competitively in groups.

When a summer cold front or fall turnover event hits, start targeting humps, long points, and offshore structures with finesse baits and blade baits to load the boat with eager spots. Focus from 15-30 feet near baitfish schools.

While tough on largemouths, colder, oxygenated conditions bring spots to life. Take advantage after fronts and turnovers.

Storm Fishing Tactics for Specific Bass Water Types

Not all fisheries react equally following storms and fronts. Adjust tactics based on the characteristics of your home lake.

Smallmouth Rivers – Clearwater levels quickly, warming fast in spring. Target riffles, eddies, and current breaks with small cranks, tubes, and hair jigs.

Natural Lakes – Varied depths shelter fish anywhere. Scan points, humps, timber and weed lines.

Reservoirs – Follow the baitfish up creek arms and shallow flats on secondary points that hold shad and bluegill. Target 30-50 feet depths.

Farm Ponds – Check where creeks enter the pond and target pockets out of the wind. Fish stay shallow in small bodies of water.

Storm Water Lakes – Newly flooded shorelines, grass and wood cover hold bass after downpours. Work the shoreline.

Southern Impoundments – Deep river channels and overhanging cover provide shade/shelter when surface temps soar after frontal passage.

How Fronts Impact Summer vs Winter Bass Fishing

While this article’s main focus is summer storm fishing, cold and warm fronts during the winter months create unique fishing scenarios that anglers must adapt to.

Warm Fronts in Winter

A swing of southerly winds and rising temps in the middle of winter pulls fish deeper into a more dormant state. However, the initial day of the front may still see good action in shallow, sun-soaked areas before the warm air arrives.

Cold Fronts in Winter

Arctic cold fronts in winter aren’t as shocking to fish as in summer since the water is already cold. But the low pressure preceding the front triggers a good bite. Super-slow presentations are needed as high-pressure sets in. Finding pockets out of the wind is key.

Warm Fronts in Summer

Warm, humid conditions in summer keep fish active but stationary on cover, waiting for food to come to them. Working topwaters and jigs over structures in the same spot incites reaction strikes.

Cold Fronts in Summer

These fronts shock lake ecosystems, spurring bass to feed aggressively before and after frontal passage. Productive summer patterns change day to day based on conditions. Anglers must stay versatile.

Tornadoes and Fishing

While less common than thunderstorms, tornadoes can wreak havoc on fisheries in their passing. Here’s how these violent windstorms impact bass and fishing:

  1. Dangerous boat hazards like floating debris fields.
  2. Heavy sediments wash in from runoff.
  3. Shoreline trees, docks, and cover are blown down or displaced.
  4. Widescale changes to bottom contours and structure.
  5. Displaced baitfish schools reforming structure.
  6. High fish mortality in direct tornado path over water.
  7. Drawdowns required to clean up debris leading to bites shutting off.

As with thunderstorms, wait a few days for the water to settle and stabilize before fishing after tornadoes. Exercise extreme care navigating any boat hazards. Make a note of new cover and structural changes to existing patterns that will confuse fish and anglers alike.

Lightning’s Impact on Fishing

We’ve covered how to stay safe from lightning on the water. But did you know lightning affects fish below the surface? Here’s what happens:

● The massive electrical current stuns baitfish that rise to the surface.

● This lights up fish finders and side imaging as bait gets shocked.

● Bass gorge on the easy meal of floating baitfish killed or knocked senseless by lightning strikes.

● After the storm passes, fish remain extra active, having received a big meal.

So, while lightning is dangerous, its electrical charge does provide a temporary buffet for predators. Baitfish getting zapped ends up helping the bite!

Final Tips for Fishing After Storms and Cold Fronts

To recap, here are the essential tips for finding and catching bass when heavy weather hits your favourite lake:

●     Target transition zones – Focus on structure and cover nearest sharp depth changes, channel ledges, creek entrances, or standing timber. Storms and fronts force bass to relocate, and transition areas hold them.

●     Follow the baitfish – Shad, bluegill, and other forage hunker down around predictable structure. Where you mark bait, bass won’t be far behind.

●     Adjust lure size & profile – Cooler water has baitfish that are less active and tucked in tight. Scale down offerings with a compact profile that perfectly matches the forage size.

●     Fish slower – Frontal pressure and high blue skies make bass lethargic. Slow down presentations and work methodically, giving fish time to respond.

●     Maximize electronics – Your fish finder becomes a crystal ball after fronts show where baitfish and predators are positioned. Don’t waste time fishing empty water.

As you gain experience fishing storms and fronts, you’ll learn to use these tips and bass location patterns to keep catching fish while fair-weather anglers struggle after weather changes. Confidence and versatility are the keys to consistent success!

Case Studies

According to a study conducted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, bass fishing after a storm can be very productive. The study found that “bass tend to move into shallow water and become more active after a storm, making them easier to catch”.

Another case study conducted by Bassmaster Magazine found that “bass fishing can be excellent after a storm, especially if the storm has caused a drop in water temperature”.

In Conclusion

While many anglers dread storms and cold fronts interrupting their plans, knowledgeable bass fishermen have learned how to use unstable weather.

Understanding where bass seeks shelter, how fronts trigger feeding instincts, and adjusting tactics to shifting conditions allows you to capitalize when foul weather hits. Steady catches after tempests keep you on fish when others struggle.

So monitor weather forecasts, have a plan when storms loom, and take advantage of stellar bite windows before and after frontal passages. The bass fishing advice above will prepare you to conquer unsettled weather and keep catching limits when the skies turn angry!

FAQs: Is Bass Fishing Good After a Storm?

Does bass bite better after a storm?

Yes, bass biting often improves after storms as the change in barometric pressure triggers feeding activity; bass also tends to move shallowly in search of food washed in by high water.

Is it good to fish for bass after it rains?

Fishing for bass after rainfall can be very productive as runoff causes baitfish to become active, appealing to bass that position to ambush along current breaks.

Is fishing good the day after a storm?

Post-storm fishing is often excellent the day after as rejuvenated oxygen levels and cooling effects stimulate sluggish bass from the summer heat.

Is bass fishing good after a thunderstorm?

Bass fishing after thunderstorms can be fantastic thanks to surging water flows, giving fish renewed cover and current, but visibility may be reduced.

Does bass go shallow after rain?

Yes, bass typically move into shallow shoreline cover and newly flooded areas after rains to take advantage of higher water levels.

Emma is the wordsmith behind the insightful articles and guides on our website. Her extensive research and passion for fishing shine through in every piece she creates. Whether sharing angling tips or delving into the latest conservation efforts, Emma is dedicated to providing valuable and engaging content.