Most of the time, the best time for fishing will be either dawn or dusk.
How do I know this? I’ve been fishing since I was 9. Whatever time of the day it is, I’ve gone fishing at that time before.
It’s been 20 years since I started fishing. I’ve found that rarely will fishing be easier than during dawn and dusk. Still, it could have just been my own opinion. To confirm it, I did a full day of research. Here are my findings.
I’ll be sharing with you a tool you can use to find the exact best time to fish. Then I’ll be breaking down the factors you should be considering when choosing a time to go fishing.
Let’s start off with the general rule of thumb.
The Simplest Way To Decide
No doubt there are many factors to consider. However, the general rule of thumb is to go during dawn/early morning, and dusk/night.
During the dawn or early morning, fish increase their activity levels. This is because during sunrise, light conditions are low. Predators always get as close as possible to their prey before launching their attack. The low light conditions give fishes an easier time getting close to their prey. This is why fishes always take the chance to feed at dawn and dusk.
Similarly, during the late afternoon, dusk, or night, light conditions are low. Once again, fish will move around a lot more than during the day.
Additionally, at night fish go into a feeding frenzy. This is the ideal time to cast your bait.
Another reason why I like fishing at night is that there will be fewer anglers present. This results in lesser disturbance in the water. The peace and quiet also make for a wonderful environment to fish in.
Both are great times to fish, although fishing at dawn does have a tad more benefits. Whether you go at dawn or dusk, you’re still sure to have a bountiful catch, so just go with whichever you like more. If you’re a morning person, go at dawn, and vice versa.
Finding The Absolute Best Time: Fishing Calendars
All things considered, dusk and dawn are usually the best times to fish. Still, there are exceptions.
While in theory, dusk should be a little better than dawn to fish, that isn’t always the case. For example, you might be a night person. On certain days though, you wake up feeling super energized and decide to be a morning person, for that one day. Fish are living things too and will change their behaviour at times.
To be sure, you can use fishing calendars to find the best times to fish. In the past, people considered the weather, the season, and the wind to come up with the best time. I prefer this method too. Nevertheless, fishing calendars are a great starting point.
Fishing calendars basically help you do the thinking and provide you with the best times to fish. These apps will use data like the weather, behaviour of the fish, and even the wind to find the exact best times to fish.
It’s never a good idea to depend too much on technology, but feel free to go ahead and use fishing calendars for now.
As you gain more fishing experience, make it a point to learn how to read the different signs to find the best time to go fishing. After all, you probably don’t want to look the fool when someone asks you when they should go fishing right?
Reading The Seasons
Great! If you’re still reading, this means you want to learn how to read the signs and find the best fishing timings on your own.
During spring, the best fishing timings differ for early and late spring. For early spring, the best timings are mid-morning when the sun is just coming up, and dusk. For late spring, the best fishing times are early morning and dusk.
During summer, the best fishing timings are from dawn to 2 hours after the sun is up, and late afternoon (not dusk, but late afternoon) onwards. Summer tends to be warmer. If you find it too hot in the morning, you can go at night instead, even though both are equally good for catching fish.
During autumn, similar to summer, the best fishing times are early morning and late afternoon onwards. Autumn is also one of the best seasons to go fishing. Fish will be trying to eat as much as they can in preparation for the coming winter. This means they’ll bite more readily.
During winter, the best fishing timings are a little different from usual. Under normal circumstances, early morning would be a good time to fish. The thing is, during winter, fish will be cold too. This means after a freezing night, fish will be sluggish in the early morning. The best time to go fishing is in the mid-morning and late afternoon. In the mid-morning, fish will be warmed up and after a night’s hunger, be ready to feed, making it the best time to fish. The late afternoon, just before the cold, is also a great time to fish.
Reading The Weather
Always remember that low-light conditions make for the best times to fish.
Any kind of weather that creates low-light conditions will facilitate fishing. The 2 types of weather that will create this are cloudy and rainy weather.
My favourite weather to go fishing is when it’s cloudy. Not only are there low-light conditions, but it’s much cooler than a sunny day, and less dangerous than rainy days.
If you’re boat fishing, rainy weather is perfect. Low-light conditions coupled with constant raindrops help prevent fish from detecting your boat. Together, they conceal your presence so you can fish freely. Rain also washes bait and insects into the water. This abundance of food makes fish feed zealously.
The only exception is heavy rain. Heavy rain is an absolute no-no for boat fishing. It creates muddy water, making it hard for fish to see your bait or lure, and is very dangerous when you’re on a boat.
Dealing With The Wind
The wind is a huge factor that affects your success in fishing as the wind pushes bait in its direction. This means on a windy day, your bait will be moving quite erratically, which isn’t very attractive to fish. When you’re casting, the wind will also blow your line away from where you want it to go, or even worse, against you.
Despite this though, I still go fishing on windy days, unless the wind is exceedingly strong. There are a few reasons for this.
First off, I love the wind. Who doesn’t love the feeling of wind constantly blowing on them?
Aside from this, despite the fact that wind can mess up your fishing, it’s quite easy to deal with this. Adding sinkers to your line will reduce the pull from the wind on your line when casting. Using a cigar float instead of a round bobber will reduce the surface area for the wind to blow on. This will minimize the erratic movement of your bait due to the wind.
No self-respecting angler should ever let a bit of wind stop them. You just need to know how to counter its negatives. The wind will then become your ally, ensuring you stay cool when fishing.
The Bottom Line
While there is quite a bit of information in this article, here are the main takeaways.
Low light levels = Good time to fish. While many things can affect the way fishes act, it usually boils down to light conditions.
Early morning and late afternoon will almost always be good for fishing. You can forget everything else, but remember this.
Finally, when in doubt, turn to fishing calendars for help. Fishing calendars will use data to find the best timings for fishing, and the data never lies.
By now, you should know when to go fishing. If you don’t, either I’m a pretty bad writer, or you didn’t read my article.
Either way, true anglers will always be looking for ways to fish better. Check out our top 10 tips to become a better angler here.