Cloudy & rainy day fishing

This might seem like a silly question, but I've been wondering, are salt water fish affected by the cloudy or rainy days?

I've been thinking about getting out and doing some SRC fishing at the local beaches, but I wasn't sure if these gray drizzle days affected the feeding habits of salt water fish.

My assumtion was that less light meant lower visibilty for seeing the baitfish, so they might be less active on these types of days?

And for those of you who do fish the beaches when it's cloudy and raining, do you just tie on a bigger or brighter pattern to compensate for the lack of light?

Just wondering :eek:

Dale Dennis

Formally Double-D
For the salt it has been my experience that cloudy and rainy days are usually more productive than bright sunny days and I believe this is due to the bait what ever it is being less frigid (for lack of a better term) and can find them in shore and closer to the surface longer and more often.

One important thing to note: It starts out very basic, once you determine what the food source is and what it is doing at that time will determine what your quarry is doing and you adjust your presentation and the water you fish accordingly. This holds true to any body of water whether it be salt or fresh.

Once one has a good understanding of a fish's food source whether it be invertebrates (insects) in a lake or stream or bait fish etc. in the salt you will become more successful as a fly fisherman.
I hope this has helped answer your question.
Good fishing!


Native Trout Hunter
It is really hard to say either way, while I have caught a lot of fish on cloudy and rain days, for cutthroat sunny ones usually do seem to out produce the cloudy ones. Further more I have been noticing a trend on partly cloudy days that I often get fish right after the sun comes out from behind a cloud, my guess it that this probably has to do with the flash in the fly, but who knows...


Active Member
probably the only difference bright v not bright makes is how deep you fish your fly. not bright i find the various fishes closer to the surface. bright, down deeper. however, i have found that a full moon at night will more than likely not lead to a great day of fishing. my theory is simply that the fish can see the prey and continue to feed through the night. when daybreak occurs, they go down. my theory and a bucktwentyfive will get you a cup of coffee at starbucks, however. :ray1:
I personally like cloudy days for salmon and srcs especially in the morning because it seems the bite lasts longer, but have had some of my best days when its 80 degrees out and in the middle of the day.


Active Member
Whether cloudy or sunny produces better fishing depends in part on the type of fishing you are doing. On those beach fisheries that seem to be best at dawn or low ligh periods the cloudy/rainy days often extend the productive fishing period. However I do a fair amount of fly fishing for resident coho in the Sound during the summer/early fall from a boat over deep water. Over the last 5 years by far the best and most consistent fishing has been on bright/sunny days with little chop. That is not what I would have expected but I consistently find good surface fishing well into the late mornings on those days. It is also those days that I see the bait balls more consistently on the surface.

tight lines
I would take a gray day over a sunny day regardless of the water, river, lake, stream, and especially salt. Gray days mean searuns. Rain is just more of a pain in the ass due to getting wet, but other than that it is still better than sunny days.
Allan H said:
This might seem like a silly question, but I've been wondering, are salt water fish affected by the cloudy or rainy days?

As you can tell by the variety of answers, not a silly question at all Allan. I prefer early mornings, and cloudy/drizzly days extend the low light of the morning period when fishing seems more consistent at the beaches I frequent. But like Rockfish, I have also had stupendous fishing on bright, blue bird summer days as well.

It may also just be a case that the fishing stays consistent longer on overcast days because it keeps all the ball throwing dog chasing rock skipping standing behind me while I’m casting folks at home, which is really really nice. :)

Cloudy days seem to be a factor, but not always. I've certainly got my preferences as to tides, weather, wind, time of day, time of year, moon phase, alignment of the stars, etc., which get me psyched up to go, but I follow the motto that the best time to fish is when you can; some days you practice casting, some days you get surprises.