Do Catfish Bite In The Rain? (3 Reasons Why)

Catfish often eat strongly after rain, particularly during the summer. The rain washes nutrients and food off the bank into the river. This supplies catfish with simple food sources.

Do Catfish Bite In The Rain

Do Catfish Bite In The Rain | Do Catfish Bite After Rain?

Catfish are more active when it rains, while others think the weather does not impact their feeding habits.

One thing is for sure – if you want to catch a catfish, you must use the right bait. Live bait, such as minnows or worms, will usually work best. You can also use artificial lures, such as spinnerbaits or crankbaits.

Why Do Catfish Bite When It’s Raining?

There are many hypotheses on why catfish bite during rain. According to one notion, catfish with a heightened sense of smell are more prone to bite when it rains.

In addition, rain produces a more favourable environment for catfish to feed because it muddies the water and makes it more difficult for predators to notice.

Regardless of the cause, it is inevitable that catfish are more prone to bite when it rains:

Rain Increases Harvest

Rainfall can significantly impact the environment and the lives of aquatic animals like fish. Several factors can make the environment more conducive to fish survival, health, and growth when it rains.

Firstly, rain can bring more food for fish. As rainwater seeps into the water body, it brings with it organic matter, vegetation, and insects that are an essential source of nutrition for many fish species. The increase of food availability attracts the fish and can lead to a more active feeding period for them.

Additionally, increased dissolved oxygen during rain makes it easier for fish to breathe. Heavy rain causes water to become choppy, generating more oxygen and helping fish to stay alive by easing their efforts to access dissolved oxygen.

Rain also leads to lower water temperatures, which can benefit fish in numerous ways. The cooler water temperature can slow down a fish’s metabolic rate, meaning that the fish don’t use up many oxygen reserves. When a fish is not using as much oxygen, it has a better chance of surviving in low-oxygen environments that can result from increased water pollution or algal blooms.

Runoffs from rainwater can create a secondary food source for fish. As the rainwater flows, it carries soil and nutrients into the water, providing food for fish that weren’t previously present. The sudden influx of nutrients can encourage the growth of microorganisms and algae, providing a food source to larger fish.

Overall, increased food, oxygen, and reduced metabolic rates make rain a good time for fish to thrive. However, it is essential to note that heavy, sudden downpours, in excess, can be too overwhelming to the aquatic environment and, in turn, can be detrimental to fish health. With the right amount of rain, fish have the chance to flourish.

Rain Lowers the Water Temperature

Among the elements that influence the behavior and growth of catfish is water temperature. The recommended temperature range for catfish is between 68 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, with 72 to 76 degrees excellent.

Catfish might become inactive or perish when the water temperature falls outside this range.

Since catfish are cold-blooded, their body temperature depends on the water’s temperature.

Therefore, they will be more active and develop quicker in warmer water. However, they will be less active and may not grow as big in cooler water.

The quantity of precipitation significantly impacts the water temperature in rivers and lakes. The water temperature might be several degrees warmer after a big downpour.

This is because rain causes water to combine with colder air, increasing the total temperature.

It also helps to agitate the water’s nutrients, which may encourage the development of aquatic plants.

This may benefit catfish in the ecosystem, but it can present difficulties for anglers and boaters, who must adapt their plans appropriately.

Rainfall Affects Water Clarity

Rain may affect the clarity of the water depending on how much it rains. The more the rainfall, the dirtier the water gets.

This is because precipitation washes dirt and other particles into rivers and lakes, clouding the water.

The less precipitation there is, the cleaner the water. Because fewer dirt and particles are washed into the water, this is the case.

Additionally, evaporation causes water to become increasingly transparent over time.
When the water is opaque, it is simpler for the catfish to capture prey.

Consequently, it is unsurprising that these fish are more active in murkier waters and enjoy a well-known edge over their rivals in this competition for food — eyesight.


Is catfishing after rain advisable?

Can catfish be caught in the rain? Catfish are often more inclined to eat and aggressively seek food during rainfall than in dry seasons.

Catfish will bite before, during, and after rainstorms for various reasons that will be described later, resulting in excellent catfishing opportunities.

What conditions are optimal for catfish fishing?

Rain, particularly really severe rainfall, often improves fishing. A slight rain may not force the fish to move much, but the bite is often better, particularly during the day, after a light rain.

Likewise, catfish will often remain considerably shallower with a bit of rain.

What environmental conditions do catfish bite?

How do you target and capture them while it is cold? Catfish bite in cold weather and consume the same baits as in the summer.

Even though they are relatively sleepy in cold water and often seek sanctuary in deep water when temperatures dip, catfish must still eat.

What time of day is optimal for catfish fishing?

The optimal period to catch catfish is between daybreak and 10 a.m. Unfortunately, this window occurs before the sun reaches its zenith, while water temperatures are still chilly from the night before.

As a result, catfish will be more active as they search for food before the sun heats the water and drives prey fish to shelter.

How long does it take catfish to bite?

When fishing for many fish, particularly channel catfish, it is important to actively seek fish rather than waiting for them to approach you. While casting your line and waiting for a fish to bite may be tempting, actively moving around and seeking out fish is a much more effective strategy.

One approach to actively seeking fish is to use a depth finder to identify areas where fish are likely to be found. This can include underwater structures like rocks, hollow logs, or brush piles, as well as areas with changes in water depth or temperature.

Once you’ve identified a potential fishing spot, you can try different baits and techniques to attract catfish and increase your chances of catching fish.

It is also critical to continuously move around and change baiting techniques until you see some catch. Many anglers use the fifteen-minute rule, which states that if you haven’t caught any fish in a spot within fifteen minutes, it’s time to move on and try a different location.

This approach ensures that you consistently explore other areas and experiment with various baits until you find what works.

Actively seeking fish and continuously changing your strategy is critical to catching many fish, particularly channel catfish, while fishing. Using a depth finder to identify potential fishing spots and the fifteen-minute rule are effective strategies to find fish and increase your chances of having a successful fishing outing. With persistence and luck, you can reel in a great catch of channel catfish and other fish species!

Will fish bite after a downpour?

Worms and other crawling creatures are carried into a river by the runoff during an intense rainstorm.

The increased river flow also displaces aquatic organisms from their habitats. These conditions often induce a feeding frenzy in fish.

What temperature causes catfish to begin feeding?

Fishing remains excellent until autumn frost, or the water temperature rises over 81 degrees.

Catfish may be caught in cold water, but for the best spring fishing, water temperatures of 50°F or above are required.

After that, the fishing progressively improves until the spawn temperature reaches roughly 70 degrees.

Why are catfish more aggressive at night?

Catfish are more active throughout the night. Catfish are active at all times of the day and night; this is true for all three species.

Catfish may be caught throughout the day and throughout the year. Catfish eat when they are hungry, regardless of the time of day.


  1. Wikipedia- Catfish
  2. Trajano, Eleonora, Sandro Secutti, and Maria Elina Bichuette. “Natural history and population data of fishes in caves of the Serra do Ramalho karst area, Middle São
  3. Francisco basin, northeastern Brazil.” Biota Neotropica 9 (2009): 129-133.
  4. Trajano, Eleonora. “Habitat and population data of troglobitic armored cave catfish, Ancistrus cryptophthalmus Reis, 1987, from central Brazil (Siluriformes: Loricariidae).” The biology of hypogean fishes. Springer, Dordrecht, 2001. 195-200.