Fishing 101: Best Times to Fish


Since weather, tide, and other conditions affect species behavior, knowing the best times to fish is essential. Today, anglers can access an array of resources to help pinpoint the best fishing days, best times for freshwater fishing, and best saltwater fishing times locally.

Too many hot days can make fish in shallow lakes, ponds, and rivers sluggish. The same thing happens in the winter when water temperatures are lower. Why? All fish are cold-blooded, meaning they can’t keep their body temperature at a constant level. So the temperature of their surroundings influences the fish’s body temperature and bodily functions.

Really high and really low water temperatures reduce the amount of oxygen in the water, making fish less active and picky about when and what they eat. When it comes to finding the best fishing times, a good starting point is to avoid extreme temperatures.

For more accurate analysis of the water to find out when the fish are biting, fish finders and water temperature gauges can give anglers up-to-the-minute feedback on temperature.

Other factors like bright sunlight can also affect fish activity so it’s important to pay attention to the time of day you plan to go, which can make all the difference in your success. Fish generally prefer early morning and evening sun to the bright midday rays. In midday, the surface temperature of the water is also hotter, forcing the fish to move deeper.

Tools like a daily fishing forecast – available online through resources like Farmers’ Almanac — can help you learn if fish will be biting on a particular day and, if so, the best fishing times.