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When Is The Best Time To Fish?

When Is The Best Time To Fish? | Life of Fishing

Written by

Daniel Wade

/

April 6, 2020

Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner, you may end up with too many unfruitful days if you don’t know the best times to fish.

Ask any angler and they’ll instantly tell you that fishing at the right time is very crucial if you’re going to have a great fishing trip. Whether you have all the right equipment and even the best fishing spot, you’re more likely to return home empty-handed if you go fishing at a bad time.

And because most of us do not have enough time or schedule that allows us to fish all day every day, we should acknowledge the importance of knowing the best time to fish, especially if you want to increase your chance of a successful fishing trip.

So when is the best time to fish? Believe it or not, the best time to fish is not set in stone rules. This is because there are countless factors such as the tides, weather, the Sun, and the Moon that affect the best time to fish.

You should, thus, keep in mind that the best time to fish is when you can! After all, you won’t catch any fish by sitting pretty at home! But if your fishing time is limited, then the best times to fish are when the fish are habitually and naturally active. This is at sunrise, sunset, during a full moon, and when the tides are higher than normal as they tend to feed more. To set the record straight, the best times to fish are ones that are more fun and fruitful based on the size and capacity of fish caught.

This article covers:

Fishing can be quite exciting and fun if you know how to choose the best time. Unfortunately, this is not easy given the many factors to consider. That’s essentially why you should read this guide. Go through it and it will definitely help.

Try the High Tides

Knowing your time and tide is the first crucial step when going for a fishing outing. Your fishing trip is perhaps going to be unproductive if you fish at the wrong time. So knowing the right time and the tides will increase your chances of success. Remember; knowing the tides isn’t difficult. All you have to do is Google. Type the phrase “tide chart” along with your location or city and you’ll know when the tides will either be low or high in your location.

Why are the tides important? Well, they catalyze fish behaviors and activities. As cold-blooded creatures, fish are naturally lazy. They hate spending energy when they don’t have to, so they’ll wait for their prey to come to them. This is essentially why it’s best to fish when the tides are rising. The idea here is that fish are moving to shallow areas looking for food.

Keep in mind that fish always move in the direction of the tides. If you do your math right and pick the right spots to throw your nets and lines, your fishing trip could be quite successful. In other words, find the right spot in a shallow area when the tides are high. Differently, look for a deeper area when the tides are low. All in all, the best times to fish are an hour before or after high tides.

Morning and Night (Sunrise and Sunset)

Fish generally change their activities based on light and temperature. As we’ve noted earlier, their cold-blooded nature makes them intolerable to definite or persistent temperatures. They do not love it when the sun is brighter and the temperatures are high. The science behind this is that brighter sun and high temperatures make the water bodies warm. And because warm water doesn’t hold oxygen for a long time, the fish will become lethargic. As a result, they’ll retrieve back to the bottom of the water and conserve their energy until when the sun goes down and the temperatures become cooler.

This is exactly why it’s not advisable to try your fishing luck in the exhaustive midday sun, especially during summer. Instead, the best time to fish is in the morning, late afternoon or at night. In other words, fish love cooler temperatures and low brightness. The temperatures are generally cooler and lights are less bright at sunrise, sunset, and at night. So you should go fishing at these times because it’s when most fish are lured to the shallows in search of food.

On the contrary, you can choose to go fishing during midday when the temperatures are high and it’s brighter but only for deep fishing. As it becomes brighter and the temperature rises, fish tend to go deeper to cool off, so you can bait or lure them into your hook or net.

Go fishing just before Adverse Weather Conditions such as Storms

To this point, it’s important to note that fish have very vigorous sensors known as sonar sensors. These sensors play an integral role in helping them detect adverse weather conditions such as massive storms before they happen.

So instead of sitting back at home when there’s an imminent storm, this is one of the best times to take your fishing rod and go for it. You should keep in mind that the fish will be very active just before the storm but will then become very inactive during and after the storm. The most important thing, however, is your safety. Many water bodies can be extremely hellish during storms, so it’s crucial to go out fishing only when your utmost safety is guaranteed.

Go Fishing on Cloudy Days

A cloudy day is another good time to fish. Needless to say, clouds can prevent sunlight from penetrating into the water. As a result, the water temperatures will be lower. This makes fish braver and more active. They’ll travel to the shallows looking for food instead of hiding as they do when the clouds are clear, the sun is brighter, and the temperatures hot.

You should, therefore, not stay at home when it’s cloudy. Get out on the water and you’ll increase your chances of getting some big and better catches.

Target Light Rains but Avoid Heavy Rains

You’re probably planning to sit by your window sipping a mug of coffee when it’s raining. Unfortunately, this is a wrong idea as light rain is one of the best times to fish! Here are some reasons why it’s best to fish during light rains:

·    Lights rains lower water temperatures, which then make fish more active.

·    Light rains have little waves that create a ripple effect in the water body. This little disorder on the water makes fish busy and full of life, which makes them easy to catch

·    Light rains blur the water surface, which makes you invisible and harder for the fish to see you.

·    The rains also wash lots of insects, bugs and other baits into the water bodies.

On the other hand, fishing during heavy rains can be worst so just stick to your coffee. Here’s why:

·    Heavy rains increase water levels, which make it unsafe for you to be out there.

·    Breathing and navigating water bodies become difficult and dangerous during heavy rains.

·    The water flow increases during heavy rains. This makes it extremely difficult for the fish to maintain a relaxed position, so they’ll lay low.

·    The heavy overflow obstructs fish gills and they won’t be comfortable looking for food.

·    Heavy rains can also stir up mud, which makes it almost impossible for fish to move around looking for food.

Look Out for Windy Conditions

Although too much wind can be problematic in terms of handling your boat and fishing gear, it still remains one of the best times to fish. Winds generally drive fish foods close to the shorelines. As a result, the fish will be instinctively lured in for a meal. So if you’re planning to fish during windy conditions, you should cast more towards the shores and in the same direction as the wind.

Best Seasons to Fish

Seasons hugely affect various behavioral attributes of fish just like they do to animals. For instance, fish become more active in specific seasons but retrieve to their deep zones in other seasons based on the weather changes brought about by these seasons.

Spring

The beginning of spring, just after winter, can be one of the best seasons to fish. Unfortunately, you’ll still wait until it gets a bit warmer. So the best time to fish during spring is in the late afternoon when water is somehow warmer and less bright. Again, fish tend to be inactive during spring mornings as they can’t find sufficient insects to feed on.

At dusk, however, winds will push insects and fish food towards the shorelines, so it’s essential to find a spot downwind along the shoreline.

Summer

Summer mornings and late afternoons are ideal times to try your fishing luck. The water is warmer and the sun isn’t very bright. You should, nonetheless, avoid midday fishing as the sun will be too hot and bright for the fish.

Remember, fish will eat a lot during summer as their digestion and metabolism are activated. For this reason, summer remains one of the best times to fish, but only in the morning and late afternoon.

Autumn/Fall

Fall is an ideal time to fish but can offer inconsistent results. Fish rarely bite in the morning and early afternoons as the temperature and light are too low. However, you can stick in your fishing gear in the middle of the day and late in the afternoon as its warmer and the fish are active.

But because fish will eat just about anything in preparation for the imminent food scarcity that comes with winter, fall remains one of the best times to fish (but at dusk).

Winter

Unless you’re ice fishing, winter can be a challenging time to fish.

The Best Time to Fish at Night – When there’s a Full Moon

If you love fishing at night or, at least only get to do it at night, you should keep in mind that moon segments can largely affect your fishing. Fish love the incredible light of a full moon, as well as the cool temperature at night. This is why they’ll float shallow when there’s a full moon and the temperatures are not high. So the best time to fish at night is when there’s a full moon.

Best Time to Fish for Trout

It’s important to note that trout naturally have some features and behaviors that are a little different from normal fish. Unlike other fish, trout can even survive in waters as high as 80ºC! Again, trout is probably the only fish species that do not get inactive or sluggish when the temperature is hot. It doesn’t matter whether it’s too hot, they’ll be lurking around to feed and you should take advantage of this.

So when it comes to trout fishing, the best time to do it is on warm days or during summer. In other words, the perfect time for trout fishing is when the water temperature is about 50 to 60ºC or anywhere close to that.

Like regular fish, trout are generally attracted to bugs, which they feed on. Consequently, check for signs of a lot of insects such as mosquitoes in the air and go fishing. You should, however, avoid trout fishing in winter. The fact that they don’t require much food during winter might make them inactive and this could be bad news for you if you were planning to trout fish during winter.

Conclusion

There are various factors that may determine when it’s the best time to fish. It’s always essential to go (shore) fishing when the fish are most active. This is in the morning and in the evening when the temperature is mild and there’s less light in the water. You can also go fishing when there’s a full moon, when the tides are high, when there’s light rain, when it’s windy, and just before a heavy storm. As you can see, some of the best times to fish may be uncomfortable and challenging, so you should prioritize your safety. On the contrary, we have to note that you shouldn’t be obsessed with the best time to fish. This is because fishing shouldn’t be just about having a huge catch. Instead, it should be about enjoying yourself and having fun as an angler. Remember, the worst day of fishing is still better than the best day at the office.

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