Knowing when is the best time to fish is essential for a productive fishing trip. Even if you have the best fishing equipment lined up, you might not catch any fish if you go fishing at the wrong time.
So, what is the best time to go fishing? The best time to go fishing depends on many factors, including the weather, time of the day, tidal cycle, and season. Many fish feed the most during dawn and dusk, making these periods the best to catch fish. High tide cycles near the new and full moons are the best fishing times for saltwater fish.
There are several factors to consider when deciding when is the right fishing time. Keep reading to learn how to choose the best times to go fishing and what seasons are best for fishing.
Best Times for Fishing
Knowing how to pick the best times to fish is essential for fishing success, like knowing how to choose a fishing rod or tackle. It’s easy to miss all the action if you don’t know to pin down the best feeding times and days to be on the water.
Having said that, check out when is the best time for fishing:
During Dawn and Dusk
Early morning and late evening are the times when most fish feed the hardest. Many anglers refer to this as “bite time”, and there are a few reasons why dawn and dusk are among the best times to go fishing.
The changes in light conditions trigger insect and bait activity. The opportunity for an easy meal puts fish into a feeding frenzy, making them more likely to go for your bait.
The low light conditions also make it harder for fish to see lines and hooks, which may deter a fish from taking the bait in daylight.
Dusk and dawn are almost always the best fishing times for various species, so it’s wise to plan your fishing trips around these peak fishing periods.
During High Tides
The moon’s impact on the tidal cycle in saltwater affects the feeding behaviors of saltwater fish. A full or new moon, which occurs at different times of the year, creates the biggest tides of the lunar year.
These tidal movements affect the behavior of many saltwater species and are ideal for sea fishing. During high tides, shoals of baitfish will swim to shallower waters looking for food, and large predatory species will follow along for an easy meal.
Besides baitfish, crabs, prawns, crustaceans, plankton, and worms will leave their hideouts searching for food. The fish know this and will try to make the most out of this opportunity, as should you.
How to Choose the Best Time for Fishing
Weather, tide, and time of the day are just some of the factors that affect the feeding behavior of fish, so knowing when is the best fishing time is essential. Luckily, there are many different tools and resources for anglers to identify the best fishing days.
Here are some helpful tips on how to choose the best time to fish:
Check Daily Fishing Forecast
Factors like sunlight can affect fish activity, so you must note the time of the day you plan to go fishing. Fish generally prefer low light conditions compared to the bright midday sun and are most active around dawn and dusk.
The water’s surface will also be warmer in the afternoon, prompting the fish to move into deeper waters to stay cool.
Tools like a daily fishing forecast are convenient. They can help you learn what type of weather conditions are expected and if fish will be interested in biting.
Check Fishing Calendar
Weather conditions are another important factor to consider when deciding the best time to go fishing. Wind and rain also affect fish activity because they push the water and surface food from the shore sending the fish into a feeding frenzy.
Storms also impact freshwater fishing by increasing the feeding activity before the storm hits. Light rain during warm summer months is also one of the best fishing times because it washes insects into the water, creating a buffet for fish.
A fishing calendar is a helpful tool that can provide you with the best times to fish based on your location. This tool uses weather conditions, tide patterns, moon phases, and fish-feeding behaviors combined with your location to determine the best times of day for fishing.
There are many fishing calendar apps to choose from, all of which are designed to help you plan your fishing trips by giving you information on increased fish activity.
Use Temperature Gauges
Fish are cold-blooded species, meaning they can’t maintain their body temperature at a constant level. Therefore, the fish’s body temperature and bodily functions are influenced by the temperature in its environment.
Extremely high or low water temperatures reduce the amount of oxygen in the water, making the fish sluggish and uninterested in feeding.
Too many hot days in the summer can deplete oxygen levels in lakes and ponds making, the fish inactive. The same happens during winter when water temperatures are much lower than usual.
When choosing the best time to fish, start by avoiding sweltering and cold temperatures. For a more accurate assessment of the water, use temperature gauges.
Lastly, don’t be shy to ask fellow anglers about the best times to fish. Most local anglers will gladly share their most successful times catching fish and may even point you to their favorite fishing spots.
The next time you’re buying fishing gear in your local bait store, initiate a conversation with the staff or other anglers looking to gear up for their next fishing trip.
What Months Are Best for Fishing?
Spring, summer, and fall are the best seasons to go fishing. The best months for fishing largely depend on where you live and the type of fish you’re trying to catch.
For example, let’s assume you’re fishing for trout. If you live in the eastern US, the best months to fish for trout are from March to June. If you live in the western US, the prime months are from July to September. For the southern US, the best months for trout fishing are from December to March. And in the northern US, June is the best month for fishing trout.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid extremely hot or cold months when the water’s low oxygen levels decrease the fish’s activity.
Do Fish Bite in the Middle of the Day?
Most fish bite the best in the early morning and late evening hours, but some fish also bite in the middle of the day. With the right approach and bait, you can still bring home a catch.
Because fish are opportunistic predators, they will eat prey if it’s appropriately presented, at any time of the day. Most fish seek cover during the afternoon heat, making it easier to locate and tempt them to bite the right lure.
The trick to catching fish in the afternoon is to locate the cooler water the fish dwell in and spur their feeding activity. In this case, you can either fish cover or fish in deep water.
What Time of the Day do Fishermen go Fishing?
Most fishermen go fishing early in the morning. The fish are the most active during dawn and dusk, but they are hungrier early in the morning, which increases your chances of hooking a fish.
Experienced anglers are well aware of these facts and head out to the water in the early morning hours to catch as many fish as possible. Late spring, summer, and early fall are ideal for early morning fishing because the water is warm enough to encourage feeding.
Also, the early morning hours are ideal for fishing because the sun is still rising, and the soft morning light makes it harder for fish to see you. This gives the fish more confidence to feed.
It may seem there is an array of factors you need to consider to find the best time to go fishing. However, things will slowly start to make sense as you gain fishing experience.
Early morning and evening are the best times of the day to go fishing. Fish are the most active during dusk and dawn, increasing your chances of landing a catch. When it comes to seasons, spring, summer, and fall are the best times to be on the water.
Fishing gadgets like fishing calendars, temperature gages, fish finders, and daily fishing forecasts can help you choose the best time to go fishing based on your location.