When’s the Best Time to Fish?

fishingFishing is a fun and complex endeavor, whether you are a novice or expert fisherman. Whether your goal is to return with the night’s dinner or simply to enjoy some time away from work and stress, fishing is a great activity. Successfully reeling in the catch of the day requires skill, knowledge, planning, and of course, a bit of luck. From bait to location to time of day, many factors come into play to ensure a successful fishing trip.

Some think that morning is the best time for fishing while others argue dusk or nighttime is optimal. Every fisherman has a personal preference for when to head out into the water, but weather conditions and the moon phase can affect your fishing outcome. Don’t worry; you don’t need to be an expert on meteorology or astronomy to determine the best fishing times. Just follow these easy pointers.

Barometric Pressure

Basic weather conditions can have a significant impact on the success of your fishing trip. Barometric pressure has an unbelievably strong effect on the feeding movements of fish. Fish can feel changes of barometric pressure on their lateral lines (the middle part of their body). In essence, when the barometric pressure changes, fish can feel this pressure shift and will thus alter their feeding behavior or activities accordingly.

To complicate matters, a fish’s response to pressure changes varies seasonally. In mid-summer, fish will tend to bite more under high pressure. In the spring or fall, fish usually bite more during low barometric conditions. By knowing this basic information you will be able to identify when the fish will most likely be actively feeding.

Fish that have large bladders, such as trout, grouper, and snapper, are more sensitive to these changes in barometric pressure. Also, fish can be quite active just prior to a major shift in the weather, but will need a day or two to adjust once the weather has stabilized. Therefore, they may not be biting as much the day after a storm.

Phases of the Moon

Just like barometric pressure, the moon plays a crucial role in a fish’s likelihood to feed. The moon cycles about once every thirty days, and within this cycle the moon undergoes four phases. The four stages are full, diminishing crescent, enlarging crescent, and the new moon. Fish have a tendency to be more active during some of these stages than during others. New moons and full moons tend to be prime times for catching big fish. Also, though it is not understood and is a highly debated phenomenon, many experienced fisherman claim that fishing one hour before until two hours after the moonrise will yield the best results.

Thorough Planning Yields Better Results

Remember before you go fishing to plan your trip thoroughly for the best results. Fishing locations and fish species play a huge factor whenever you decide to fish. By learning a few basics about how Mother Nature can play a part in the success of your fishing trip, and with a little bit of serendipity, you may come home with more fish than you can eat.

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This article was composed by Toby Skelton, a freelance writer based in South Bend, Indiana. Those interested in fishing & hunting should learn about the Nueltin Fly-in Lodges and Northern Pike Fishing.

When's the Best Time to Fish? 2
JR Olson
J. Rex Olson is a freelance writer based in the greater metropolitan area of Seattle. He enjoys writing for the sake of writing, and likes to contribute material on a wide range of topics and issues. When not writing he loves playing basketball and taking in a symphony.

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