Little known best times to fish

My father is an expert on trees. When asked, “When is the best time to prune young trees?” I heard him answer: “Whenever you have a hair clipper in hand.”

The same optimistic attitude can be applied to fishing. You won’t catch a fish if you don’t have a line in the water. In general, mornings and evenings seem like the best times to fish. There may be inactivity around lunchtime, especially during the heat of late summer. However, this certainly doesn’t mean that you should put your rod down and take a nap.

Fish are opportunistic and always looking for a simple meal. Even if you’re not in the mood to bite, a small change in the weather can cause the fish to be re-fed.

For example:

wind: When a hot summer lake goes from shallow to a bit of chop, get ready. This wave activity, possibly caused by the extra oxygen surge, can be like flipping the buffet sign from “closed” to “open”.

Clouds: One of the reasons mornings and evenings are such good times for fishing is the lower light intensity. Cloud cover can create a kind of false early evening or delay the morning sunrise. These periods can cool the water and draw (or hold) the fish’s attention to the surface for a longer effect on the topwater bait.

rain: Rain runoff and the associated cloud cover can also cool the water. Just a degree or two can make a difference. According to a local musk angler, “the best time to fish is during or just after rain.” As long as there is no lightning I will continue to do magic.

Electricity: Tidal shifts can play a huge role in not only where fish are, but also what mood they are in. Reservoirs can also release their accumulated water at regular intervals. This sudden influx of water flow awakens everything in the system.

The best time for the angler to fish may not be the best time for the fish to eat. A slight change in weather like a quick afternoon shower can set off a good time to fish. It can also reduce fishing pressure by sending many fishermen into the house. However, if there is lightning, no matter how big the bite, it is better to fish another day. Learn about when to fish safely and make sure you have your fishing license before you go on the water.

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fishery research technician at OSU, in the US state of Iowa and in the US state of Michigan.

Comments are closed.