fine weather fishing

What’s the best weather for fishing? Rain or shine, windy or overcast?

You’re itching to get out to your fave spot on the banks of the river, but what’s the best weather for fishing? It seems our scaly friends are highly attuned to changes in the weather, so whether you go angling in the rain or in the heat of the midday sun can affect your likelihood of bringing home the fish for supper. Here’s our quick guide to the best weather for fishing in.

Fishing when raining:

You might not be up for sitting in waterproofs on a soggy river bank, but during and just after the rain there are lots of flies flying around the surface of the water and this attracts the fish. Rain on the water can also literally stir things up, so fish move nearer to the surface to make the most of any organic matter that has run into the water during the rain.

Fishing when it’s hot:

Fish get hot and bothered just like the rest of us in the midday heat. When the sun is beating down on your favourite beat, the fish are more than likely retreating to lower depths to be in the cooler waters. Of course, it’s lovely weather for anglers to be out in, so see if you can find a peg that’s under the shade of an overhanging tree, as this is the best place for fishing in bright sunlight.

catching fish

Are you more likely to land a beauty like this if you fish when it’s hot or when it’s cold?

Fishing when it’s cold

One thing’s for certain; the cold winter months keep most anglers away, as conditions can be rather uncomfortable out there to say the least. If you’re hardy and determined with the right equipment, your efforts can be well-rewarded by fishing in winter – but it’s not easy. The fish are generally lazier when it comes to feeding and you’ll need to pick your spot and time of day carefully. The best time of day to go is between 10am and 4pm when the water is warming a little.

Fishing when it’s full moon:

Some anglers swear by fishing at full moon, other say catches are lessened during a full moon. Could it be that the brighter moonlight at full moon makes fish more active as it’s light like in daytime? Other fish (such as eels) that don’t like light will be even harder to fish at a full moon as they retreat even deeper. Of course, in many places fishing isn’t allowed at night anyway, so the question becomes hypothetical!

fish in dark water

Will fishing at full moon send the fish to hide in the depths or will you get a bite?

Fishing when overcast

Conversely to fishing on a sunny day, an overcast one can be ideal for anglers keen to reel in a few Bass, for example. They love gloomier conditions and so will come to the surface and swim further when it’s a cloudy day than when it’s bright sunshine.

Fishing when windy

Wind from the east, fish bite least
Wind from the west, fish bite best
Wind from the north, few sailors set forth
Wind from the south blows bait in their mouth

Is the old ‘Wind from the east, fish bite least’ fishing proverb true? Well, it’s not the wind itself that makes the fish bite or not, but more about the effect of the wind on the water. If it’s a cold biting wind from the east fish might be less active in cold, windblown waters. But let’s face it, whichever the direction the wind is coming from, it’s not the most agreeable of weather to go out fishing in is it?

So what IS the best weather to fish in?

Sun, cloud, rain and wind apart, fish are very sensitive to changes in pressure. The best advice for anglers wanting to know the best weather to fish in is to keep and eye on your barometer. The best time for fishing is just before a cold front/storm moves in – fish are very active in the period of low pressure that precedes such a weather front. Conversely they are very lethargic after!

But you can still go fishing in all sorts of weather. You just need to know what bait to use and where to fish. Whether you’re a beginner or an accomplished fisherman or woman, you can always learn from the experience of an expert angler. That’s why we’ve got fly fishing and sea fishing lessons and experiences at waters around the country to help you improve your chances of a good catch, whatever the weather.

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