I recently spoke with Jason Christie about the upcoming Bassmaster Classic on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell and the standout pro from Oklahoma made an interesting observation about his hopes for the big event.

He wants rain.

Okay, fish bite in the rain, but it’s not ideal for efficiency and the discomfort factor tends to degrade one’s focus and endurance.

But Christie doesn’t necessarily want rain during the Classic; rather, he’d like to see a good downpour right before the event. Why? Because winter rains typically pull fish into shallower water where power fishing tactics can make for a very productive day.

Rainwater runoff will be a few degrees warmer than the lake water it enters. Also, the sediment carried by this concentrated inflow stains the shallows. That’s key because winter water is usually pretty clear and bass get awfully paranoid in times of high visibility.

You don’t want to fish in mud, but the stain helps camouflage your baits so fish don’t get a good look at them.

If Christie gets his wish at Hartwell, he’ll fish that warmer, stained water with a Booyah spinnerbait, an Xcalibur xr50 rattlebait, and a Bomber 6A crankbait.

Finesse baits are certainly a part of the winter arsenal, but when rainwater inflows pull bass to the bank, they’re going there to eat. Appetite plus diminished visibility makes the fish more apt to bite baits they can hear and feel.