As a novice fisherman, and trying to learn, how will the heavy rain on Saturday affect bass fishing in the river on Sunday? Is there a significant drop off? I don't want to waste a good fishing day if it really doesn't matter.
This reply is late for your Sat fishing but maybe good for future fishing. Also I am fishing lakes and not the river. I do great the hour before a big storm rolls in and during the storm. Yesterday I fished four hours and caught 17 bass, then just as the storm was rolling in I caught 11 in one of the same places I had just been fishing 1 hour earlier. I did head for the ramp when it started thundering. It is never a good idea to be on the water when lightening is near. But I know for a fact that the bite will stay on through the storm. Make sure your bilge pump is in good working order. A lot of water can come down pretty fast. Also if your foot control for your motor is sitting in standing water, you cannot turn it off without unhooking the battery. I keep a pair of rubber boots and a good rain suit in the boat at all times and will always fish the rain. I have had some of my biggest catches in pouring rain.
My experience on the Ohio river shows that a good rain will boost the bite, during the rain the fish will feed better due to higher oxygen levels brought by (my oppinion) the rain, after the rain the river will be flowing and looking for current brakes ie rocks, points, coffers, barges, anything that will give them some shelter from the current, points are a good location, I always like to start there and work from very deep to shallow(starting down river and working up), after that any bend in the river will get my attention, starting from the down river side working up and again starting deep and working shallow. This should get you started and one you get a feel for it on a good day you can almost pick the spot and say there are fish right there and the best part they are!!
I have to agree with just before a storm and right after it starts. Some of the best catches I have had have ben at those times. I once limited (8 bass) at that time in 30 minutes. This was right as a light rain started, 60 minutes later it was pouring and lighting and never caught another bass.
A violent storm blew over Cowan Lake Saturday evening (it was strong enough to keep me out of the kayak). I was fishing a Senko from shore for about an hour without a bite, and the dark clouds started to roll in. The wind was gusting, and when the rain came down I decided that I had made my last cast. However, that is when I got my first bite, and I caught 5 bass within the next 15 casts. I had been fishing that same spot while the sun was shining without any bites. Ive always had good luck fishing before and after a storm, and I am now confident that fishing during a storm would be productive.
I've always experienced great fishing just before storm. I was out crappie fishing at alum Saturday evening. I wasn't even getting any bites. Then the wind shifts from South to NorthEast (bout an hour and half before storm) crappie started biting like mad. They were all dinks but fun none the less.
Used to do a lot of bass fishing in Florida as a kid. Best catches I ever had were as a storm was coming in. It always seems like it's the cold fronts that come through with the storm that really get things going. Never experience any change of fishing with the warm fronts....