I think it really depends on how hard it is fishing. If its a steady light to medium rain, top water could be the ticket all day long. I've had days where it was overcast with a steady drizzle all day long and we killed them on buzzbaits the whole day long. I've also had similar weathered days where soft jerkbaits were the ticket.
If the rain is heavier, chances are you will have a decent wind with it, therefore, tightline presentations like crankbaits and spinnerbaits tend to work best. Another technique I've used with success during heavy rain with wind is the Carolina rig. Also, sometimes under those same conditions, baits like Zara spooks can be pretty good. I've had some great luck on Hartwell Lake in SC/GA with Zara Spooks during pretty heavy rains.
One other thing to consider is how long it has been raining for. If its been raining for a day or so (enough to make the water begin to rise in the lake) then I tend to move in tighter to cover and flip and pitch with plastics and jigs. It seems fish will often follow the rising water in shallow. I've done really well doing this on Lake Murray and Wylie Lake.
Lighting rod (Not talking 'bout Berkely either)...just make sure you are wearing electrician's gloves - point one end up and the other in the water. In all seriousness...depends on the amount of rainfall - and that may depend on which part of the country you are from (San Diego rain isn't as severe as Chicago rain). You can try a black topwater, big silhouette against the grey sky, like the under used jitterbig; spinnerbaits with painted blades, not a whole lot of light to catch metallic blades...
-- Basically you are in low light conditions, which means low visability, go with lures that offer big silhouettes
Bass will follow rising water so fish shallow, look for freshwater spilling into the body of water you are fishing or drainage areas - as these will be spots that carry nutrients through them and the rest of the food chain.
Excellent point made Jw! Very good advice! :cheers:
I was fishing on a small river by me, Lynches River, just the other day. We came across a small drainage that was spilling freshwater into the river. It was spilling in about 10 feet down current of a fallen tree which made it even nicer. We pulled up to this one small area and caught several nice fish. It was amazing how even the smallest bit of drainage spilling in can hold so many fish.
I love fishing in the rain. JW is right. I always look for the rain water feeding into the main body. Usually, if you find this spot you have found the mother lode. My son and I caught and released over 20 bass in about 1/2 hour in Oct. It didn't matter what we threw, they were all over it. If you can't find these areas, try a big bladed spinnerbait, or a big worm in dark colors.
A general rule is light, natural colors in clear water on sunny days, but the exact opposite on dark, rainy days. The darker the sky, the darker and fatter the lure. But now the water temps are dropping everywhere, and soon bass won't be willing to chase except maybe just before a low pressure front begins dropping moderate rain, so keep in mind the need to slow it way down until rain hits, then speed it up. Lately our temp has run 60-62, ideal for a good fast paced retrieve in light rain. Pretty soon I'll break out the big blade tray for spinnerbaits since they move slower and the shad are about as big as they will get before winter die-off. My go-to in rain is a black bladed spinnerbait with black trailer. If bass schools break chasing shad I'll switch to a black spoon, sometimes with black trailer, since they always seem to break a little too far away for spinnerbaits. Rain or not I'm still bouncing deep running crankbaits off fairly shallow stumps out away from visible weedlines, using models that want to swim 15' deep, in water 5-10' deep. I think the bass get turned on seeing that long bill rooting mud. In shallower water I'm tossing original Bagley Balsa Bs and Norman Middle Ns.
Fishing that new water pouring into the lake this fall is definitely a good idea, if that water is warmer than the lake. In that case I run up the creek then fish my way down until I locate the bass. If the new water is cooler, like later in winter, I believe the best place to start is right at a mudline where new water hits cleaner warmer deep water.
Iuse alot of different lures in the rain, depending on the water clarity and temp., but the basic rule I follow is to cover water in cloudy conditions, and stay shallower in the rain. Of course, a club tournament last year on Logan Martin was won throughtwo days of downpour by a man fishing main lake points with a c-rig. My spinnerbaits and spooks did't compare.