What is the Best Time to Go Fishing?

best time to go fishing

If you have always wondered how to figure out the perfect time to go fishing, then this is for you. There are multiple factors that you must consider if you want to have the ultimate fishing trip. There are three methods you could follow, taking time, weather and other factors into consideration.

Method 1 – Time of Day

How do you identify the best time of day?

Because fish are coldblooded, water temperature plays a significant role. They’re inactive in very cold water and when the water is too warm, they retreat to colder waters at greater depths. Above-water temperature is also crucial because mosquitos and bugs love playing above water in warm air — and fish love insects.

How do the seasons affect the best time to fish?

Your location and the fish species you’re after play roles here, but the following are guidelines to consider.

Spring: Spring morning temperatures are still pretty cold. Thus, late afternoons are when fish will actively seek to feed on mosquitos. They will be more active in late spring.

Summer: Except for the hottest time around midday, bugs are active, and so are fish. The best times for bites are just before sunrise and also just after sunset.

Fall: Fishing in the Fall can be very good or very bad. Late afternoons of sunny days are your best bet because the fish will make the most of feeding before the winter’s food shortage.

Winter: Only ice fishing is worth taking out the tackle in the winter — for obvious reasons.

How do the tides affect the best time to fish?

Coastal fish do most of their feeding during the change of tides, making the rise and fall of tides the best time to fish.

Method 2 – Weather:  Do warm and cold fronts play a role?

Again, with fish being coldblooded, water temperature matters. Hectic feeding typically goes on during the hours leading up to a cold front, but they are primarily inactive throughout and after the cold. Warm fronts have a lower impact, except in excessive heat when fish retreat to deeper, colder water.

What role does wind play?

Small prey fish are pushed toward the shore along with surface water. Their presence lures game fish, bringing them right to you. That is if you cast your line into the wind and allow it to drift toward the shore. Likewise, if you’re on a boat, cast with the wind, toward the shore to benefit from the prevalence of game fish.

Do clouds affect the time to fish?

Cloudy days are the best. Fish venture out further from underwater structures and protection when it is not so bright out.

How do fish react to rain?

Light rain allows excellent fishing because it washes insects into the water, attracting fish. The rain falling on the water helps to keep the fish from seeing you. However, heavy rain stirs up the mud, causing conditions that fish do not favor for feeding.

Are there other factors to consider?

Several other matters could affect the best time to fish, including the following:

Research the location where you plan to go fishing.

Check for bug activities because small fish feed on them, so, wherever bugs, flies and mosquitos are plentiful, larger game fish will come to feed on the small fish.

The moon plays a significant role in tides if you’re at the coast, but if you are inland, the periods when the moon is closest to the earth, and full moon can indicate good times for fishing. Go here for free lunar calendars.

Become familiar with different fish species, their water temperature preferences, the food they seek and the times of day they are most active.

Most importantly, regardless of how involved you are in competitive fishing, never lose sight that it was a fun family activity before entering competitions.

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    Riley Draper

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.