Fishing for Beginners: The Best time to Go Fishing
Most people don’t have a schedule that lets them fish all day every day. When your fishing time is limited, it’s important to know what the best time to fish is so you can increase your chances of a successful outing.
When you are a fishing beginner, without knowing the best times to fish you can end up with too many days when you don’t catch any fish.
It isn’t easy to know when to fish, so I hope this guide will point you in the right direction. Study it and then try out some of the best times to fish and see if it helps.
Why are there good times and bad times to fish?
Weather plays the biggest role in when fish like to eat. Fish are cold blooded creatures so if it is too hot or too cold they won’t eat as much.
The temperature of the water also influences the oxygen levels. Too hot or too cold and the oxygen drops. That makes the fish sluggish and they must conserve energy. They will still eat, as long as the bait is right in front of their mouth. They won’t spend any energy finding or chasing bait.
Time of day also plays a part. Early morning and evenings are when fish get the most hungry. I know those are the times I like to eat, too!
Where and when to fish
Knowing the time of day is great, but it helps to understand why that is a good time so you can position yourself to better catch fish.
At night the water is a bit colder so the fish slow down. When the sun starts warming the water a bit the fish start to get active. With the sun not out for long in the morning it makes sense that the shallower waters will warm up first.
As the day starts to warm up, the fish will start heading to the cooler waters again. Find some drop offs or depressions in the shallow water. You will find fish there as they try to cool down a bit. Head out to water that’s a bit deeper in the middle of the day.
Middle of the day, particularly in the middle of summer, is known to be the worst time to fish. They will take an easy meal if it’s presented to them, however, so knowing a good spot is crucial. If you are a newbie, then you probably don’t know where those spots are yet.
During the late afternoon and early evening, the sun is not so strong on the water. That’s when the fish are hungry again and starting to cruise the shallows. The water all over is generally warmer now, so try to find a spot with moving water.
Know your tides
Fish are inherently lazy. As I said, they are cold blooded so they don’t like to spend energy when they don’t need to. They prefer to let the bait come to them.
Which is why it’s best to fish when and where the water is moving. And hour before and an hour after high tide is a great time. Fish can set themselves up in the current and when a small fish gets caught in the flowing water, it ends up right in the waiting mouth of a bigger fish.
Slack tide, or when the tide is at it’s highest or lowest level is generally the worst time. The water is not moving, so fish will have to chase down their prey. Unless the fish is really starving then you won’t have much luck at that time.
Different season will produce best at different times.
Early morning water temperatures are still to low. Best to wait until late afternoon when the sun has had time to heat up the water.
Early morning just before sun up to mid-morning are great times when the heat of the summer begins. There is plenty of bait and the fish are starting to bite.
Most of the rest of the day is not ideal and should probably be avoided. It’s just too hot for the fish.
Late afternoon and sundown is the best time to get back out. Fish are on the prowl and ready for action. Surface fishing is best at this time as the fish are coming up from the deeper waters.
Mid morning is best if you want to get there early. Before sun-up the water is still a bit too cool. Give it a little time to heat up before you get out there.
During the middle of the day, it’s best to stick to shallow water since it will be a bit warmer.
Afternoon towards evening is the best time. The sun has warmed the water all day and the fish are ready to eat. Fall is a good time to fish since they are getting an extra layer of fat on them to get through the winter. They will eat just about anything at this time of year.
Best weather conditions for fishing
It can be annoying fishing into the wind, but the wind pushes the water into one area and corrals the bait. You’ll find plenty of big fish around when it’s windy.
Fishing before a storm is a great time to be out. When the pressure changes, fish know a storm is coming and will stock up on food. Big waves can also produce big fish, too.
Light rain can make baitfish confused and easy to eat. Larger fish are around and so should you.
Hard rain makes it tough to catch fish. Not to mention it can be annoying. Stay home if it’s raining too hard.
To Sum Up
These are not set in stone rules and should serve as a guideline. The best time to fish is when you can! If your only time to fish is when the conditions are not ideal, then go for it, anyway. You can’t catch any fish from home!