Do Catfish Like the Rain? 

We already know that weather and season play a huge role in how successful you will be in catching fish, like catfish, but rain can come down in any season. Therefore, it is natural to wonder what the effect of rain is on catfish and if catfish like the rain. 

Unlike humans, cats do not have a proper thought process, so they do not like or dislike things like rain. However, fishing is much easier in the rain because the catfish are much more active during this period. 

This article will be perfect for you if you want to learn more about catfish and their relationship with the rain. So, keep reading to learn about catfish behavior in the rain and when it is best to catch catfish when it rains. 


Can you catch catfish in the rain? 

It is actually pretty easy to catch catfish in the rain if you are properly equipped. Rain can affect the water that the catfish is in a lot, because it affects things like the temperature of water and air, water turbidity, water clarity, nutrient disturbance, and available light. This, in turn, affects the attitude of the catfish. 

The effect of rain on catfish is usually positive, but it also depends on the season when the rain comes down. Just like most other animals, catfish can feel it when the rain is coming and will move around more, which already increases the success of catching the fish. 

In summer 

In summer, the rain will be a blessing as it will cool down the temperature of the water in which catfish reside, so they will move towards shallower water where the temperature is cooler. Of course, a light rain will not affect the fish much, but a heavy rain will. 

These fish will move towards the mouths of streams and rivers where cooler water will move towards the stream. They will also feed more aggressively as more food is available during a rainstorm, so they will more likely take the bait. When it is hot, the fish will go to the bottom of the water and rest in cooler areas, so rain is essential to force the fish to come out and eat. 

In winter 

Similar to summer rain, a rainstorm will warm the temperature of the water, causing the fish to move toward the surface again. They will move towards the mouths of streams and rivers where the water seems to be warmer. In winter, it is harder to fish for catfish since they stay hidden, so that a sudden rainstorm can be a blessing. 

In winter, there is also a lack of food for catfish, so they go into a semi-hibernation period where they use less energy and eat less too. However, if there is a sudden rise in temperature, they will come out of this stage and be very hungry. 

Regardless of the weather, heavy rain will cause catfish to move to another area, which makes it easier to catch them. Some catfish will move upstream towards the dams and spillways, while others will move towards backwater areas or into the creeks that feed into the rivers. This is because there is most food in these shallow water areas. 

Does flooding affect catfish? 

Just like rain, floods also affect catfish behavior because they bring about sudden changes in water temperature and much more. River flooding is something that the catfish look forward to, considering it brings a lot of dead food to them from land as well as river. This type of event shows how catfish are a part of the ecosystem. 

The catfish will move toward calmer water because they do not like strong currents. Then the catfish will face the strong current, and whatever food is flowing out of the strong current enters their belly. Since catfish are usually omnivorous, they eat whatever they find—plants, animals, and fish—whether they are alive or dead. This means this is a very good period for the fish, as it can eat a lot. 

As a result, fishing becomes easier during this period as well. The catfish will already be out looking for food, so it will trust bait more. As you can tell, catfish are very opportunistic eaters, which can also make them more vulnerable to baits. 

When should you catch catfish in the rain? 

Of course, rain affects the catfish’s behavior, but you cannot go fishing in the middle of a storm. That is dangerous and counterproductive if you think about it. Therefore, can you go fishing for catfish before and after rain? Yes, you can, and that is what you should do. 

As you know, catfish can sense when it is about to rain, so when you think there will be a storm, you should pack up your gear and go fishing. Just like catfish, all other creatures in the water can also recognize when it will rain so that they will be more frantic. As a result, catfish will be more active and bite more often while looking for food. Not to mention, the fish will move toward shallower water. 

It is said that the best time to fish for catfish is after summer rain. In summer, the metabolism of the catfish is already working fast, so after rain, it will be even more active and thus will not remain dormant or still at all. After the rain, all the nutrients will be in the water, and most organisms will be out to eat as much food as they can, like shad, bluegills, minnows, shiners, and clams, which catfish like to feed on. 


Catfish like rain because it can cool and warm the water’s temperature and bring a lot of food. This means that the fish will be very active before, during, and after the rain and will more readily take the bait. 

As a fisherman or angler, this is the time you can take advantage of, as you do not know when it will rain again. Moreover, if the rain is in summer, it is the best condition that you can experience, and expect to catch at least a few catfish on the trip. 

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