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When is the Best Time to Go Fishing? — Expert Answers

When is the Best Time to Go Fishing? — Expert Answers
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When is the best time to go fishing? Well, mornings, afternoons and early in the evenings are the best times to go fishing. Well, that’s putting all other factors into consideration. Not to worry, we will discuss these other factors later in this article.

Knowing the best time to go fishing is very important if you want your fishing trip to be a successful one. Even with the right fishing spot and right fishing equipment, your fishing trip can go wrong if you go fishing at a bad time.

Fishes are cold-blooded animals, therefore the temperature of their surroundings will affect their body temperature as well as their bodily functions. Very high and very low temperatures make fishes sluggish because they reduce the amount of oxygen in the water.

Avoiding severe temperatures is a good way to start, in terms of finding the best time to go fishing. If you do not know how to check the temperature, water temperature gauges are good for finding temperature and they also give timely updates concerning water temperature.

If you are a fishing beginner, not knowing the best times to go fishing can make you end up with too many days when you do not catch any fish. This article contains all you need to know about the best times to go fishing.

You may also want to check out this video for tips on times, tides and conditions that are best for fishing:

How to Know When to Go Fishing

To know the best time to go fishing, observe the following factors:

Observe the time of the day

Like we stated earlier, fishes are cold-blooded and what they do depends on the temperature of the water around them. They are not very active when the water is too cold or too hot because they turn to the deepest waters to remain cool.

Fishes generally prefer early morning and the evening sun to bright midday rays because the surface temperature of the water gets hot in middays.

Observe the season

Just like other animals, fishes come out in larger numbers during some times of the year. This depends on where you live and the kind of fish you hope to catch.

Fishing during springtime

Fishes are on and off during this season, so the best times are later in the season and later in the day when the water has already gotten a bit warm. Fishes cannot do much eating on spring mornings as bugs are usually not so many at that time of the day. The best thing to do is to advantage of their feeding time at dusk.

At this time of the year, the wind will push the warmer surface filled with food towards the shore. So, you should be positioned to fish downwind along the shoreline as the fishes will be at a higher level in the water.

Fishing in the summer

For this season, avoid the hottest times of the day. The fishes will be biting well before sunup and after sundown when food is plenty. At midday, the fish will turn to the deepest waters to stay cool as the sun will be very high.

From late morning to early afternoon, the fishes turn towards the deepest waters to stay cool. From afternoon to early evening, the fishes begin to swim towards the surface for warmer water. The best time to go fishing in this season is from sunup to midmorning.

Fishing in the fall

At this time, there will likely not be enough bite from sunup to early morning as a result of the cold water. From late morning till afternoon, the fishes will start to bite on and off. However, the water will be warm towards the end of the day and this will drive the fishes to the surface to eat more than usual because of the food shortage caused by the winter season.

The best time to go fishing during this season is at dusk.

Fishing during winter

The winter season is not the best time for fishing except you want to go ice fishing, which is a different thing.

Observe the tides

The best time to fish during this period is when the tide is rising or falling because this change makes the fishes to move together and even makes it a good time for coastal fish to feed. It will be difficult to fish when there is less water movement, low tide or high tide.

If you intend to fish during a high tide, look for a shallow area. But for a low tide, look for an area with a depression in the bottom, like a mud bank near a slough.

To know what time high and low tides are I your area, just Google ‘tide charts’ and insert the name of the town you are in.

Observe the weather conditions

Various weather conditions also have a great role to play in terms of determining the best time to go fishing.

Windy days

The wind pushes water and surface food to the far shore, luring fishes. This makes windy days one of the good times to go fishing. If you are fishing from the shore on a windy day, cast into the wind. This will make your lure to move in the same direction as the rest of the food, and make it easy to attract fishes.

If you are fishing from a boat, cast towards the shore in the same direction as the wind.

Storm days

Storms also determine the outcome of your fishing trip, by increasing feeding during the hours immediately before a cold front but making it slow during and after a storm or front hits. A warm front makes surface water temperatures to increase, putting the fishes in a feeding frenzy.

Remember that fishes are coldblooded. So, their behavior can change a bit before and after cold or warm fronts. Many fishes increasing their feeding in the hours before a cold front hits and slows it down afterward. This means that fishing after a cold front might not be successful.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Cloud Days

Cloudy days are also a good time to go fishing. Overcast skies make fishes bolder as they tend to swim far from their safe structures and also look for food more than on bright days. Overcast days are good times for fishing.

Light rain

Light rain is one of the best times for fishing as it has excellent fishing weather, especially in warm water. Light rain sends insects and baits into the water, creating food for the fishes. It also makes the water surface blur, so the fishes can hardly see you.

Heavy rain is not the best time to go fishing as it stirs up mud and makes it hard for fishes to look for food, move around, and breathe. The fishes will certainly not be out in this kind of weather.

Ask other local anglers

Lastly, ask your fellow anglers. Most times, they provide very useful information based on experience or research. And there is no doubt that you would find one local willing to share his/her most successful times with you.

Photo by payam masouri from Pexels

Other Factors to Consider Before Fishing


The smaller fishes feed on insects, and the bigger ones feed on the smaller ones. As such, a hatch of flies is sure to bring to draw the fishes to the surface. However, make sure you wear plenty of insect repellent.

The moon

The moon plays a big role in fishing conditions as it controls the tides. Keeping track of the tides by just observing is somewhat easy, but it can be very helpful if you pay attention to the movements of the moon.

Full moons and times when the moon is close to the earth are good times for fishing. You can find free online lunar calendars to help you find top fishing hours.

Know your fish

Different types of fish prefer different water temperatures, food, and times of day. If you are fishing for a particular type of fish, do a thorough research before venturing on your fishing trip.

What Time of the Day is Best to Fish?

Knowing the best time of the day to fish helps you determine what you need to do and how to plan for a successful catch.

So, while considering all other factors as mentioned earlier — weather conditions and the tide — here’s what you should know about fishing times of the day:

Fishing at night

At night, the water is a bit cold. This slow down the fishes. However, when the sun starts warming the water, the fishes start to get active. As the day starts to warm-up, the fishes will turn to the deepest waters. Find some depressions in the shallow water because fishes will be trying to cool down there.

Fishing at midday

Midday, especially in the middle of summer, is known as the worst time to fish. From late afternoon to early evening, the sun is not so strong on the water. This leaves the fishes hungry and they begin to cruise the shallows. At this point, the water is generally warm. So, look for a spot with moving water.


To get more accurate information on the best time to go fishing, you might want to try using a fishing calendar. They use data (weather patterns, tide, and moon phases) from your location as well as feeding behavior to determine the perfect time to go fishing for that particular type of fish you want.

You might have the right bait and still, the fish won’t bite. So, it is better to know the time of the year and the time of the day that is best to catch the species of fish that you want. Also, do not get so wrapped up in finding the right time that you forget to have a good time. Fishing is an interesting sport; have fun!

Want to up your knot-tying game? Take advantage of our detailed article on how to tie fishing knots to learn more.

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