In addition to using the correct equipment, fishing is all about timing. From the whip motion of the cast to the set of the hook once the fish bites, timing is crucial every part of the way. This post will cover the best time during the day to fish and best time of year to fish.
More than anything else, the best time to catch fish is when they are feeding. This makes sense because the more fish that are feeding, the more fish will bite on the lure you place in front of them. As mentioned in our guide to finding the best fishing rod, it is important to study the fish you are hunting. That is the best way you can find out their weak spots, their preferences in food, when they normally feed, and where they feed.
When do fish feed?
There are several times to keep in mind when you are fishing. Paying attention to these conditions will maximize your fishing efforts. The times and seasons listed are based on observations and are generalizations. The best way to figure out the ideal fishing conditions in your area is to observe the feeding patterns. Of course, most of us fish when we have the time, but if possible, do it during these times.
- With the sunrise and sunset
- Incoming and outgoing tide
- With steady barometer readings
As with most things relating to weather and seasons, nothing is ever completely predictable. Conditions are always changing and as fish become more aware of anglers, they become more intelligent in terms of angling techniques.
With the Sunrise and Sunset
On any given fishing day, the best times to go are right when the sun starts rising and right when the sun starts setting. This is because fish tend to feed most during those times of day, especially in freshwater conditions. If you are not a regular early riser, an easy way to figure out the time of sunrise is by referring to www.timeanddate.com, which gives you the daily sunrise and sunset times. Use this information to your advantage while fishing.
Incoming Tide/Outgoing Tide
When fishing, a lot of your luck depends on the moon and how it influences the water activity. This is especially true when making use of your surf fishing rods, considering the huge effects that the moon as on the high and low tide.
While there are different opinions about whether incoming or outgoing is better, most anglers will agree that waiting an hour before or after the high and low tides are best. In other words, when the water is moving moderately. Some people prefer the incoming tide because the ocean brings in a large amount of fish. Others prefer fishing the outgoing tide because some fish will go into the deeper pockets of water and stay there until the next high tide. If you are able to find those pockets of fish, you will have great luck with good sized fish!
Steady Barometer Readings
The barometer is a tool that fisherman use all the time. The barometer measures air pressure and is used to predict the weather. This is useful for fishermen.
Fish tend to feed when waters are calm. It is not ideal to fish when the weather is windy. At worst, there should be slight ripples (not waves). When the barometer decreases, it is an indication that the weather will get worse soon. This is a bad time for fishing. When the barometer increases, it means that the weather will get better, bringing out the sun. When the barometer is steady, it is showing that the weather will stay constant. Of course, this is just a simplified explanation of the barometer.
The best fishing happens during the moderate conditions of the day. One example is the high and low tide. Fish will not feed during the extreme points, but rather the between periods. Another example is the weather. Fish do not feed as much during high or low barometer readings. They feed the most during the periods in between.
There are some useful tools on the internet that will tell you the best times for fishing. Here are some of the tools that we use:
- Astro Tables tells you the best times each month to fish
- Sunrise/Sunset tells you when the sun sets and rises
- Weather.com will help you when forecasting your next trip