What is the Best Time of Day to Go Fishing?

carp fish

Fishermen have been choosing the best time of the day to go fishing. Fishing at the right time is important to catching fish. After you have determined the right time to catch fish in your area, then you will be successful.

The reason that fishing at the right time of the day is so important is because fish do not feed during the day. The reason they do not feed as much during the day is due to the heat. As the sun shines on the water it will quickly warm it up. Because fish are cold-blooded animals, they need to focus on staying cool during these warm times.

So fish are less active at certain times of the day. Read below to find out about the optimal time to fish.

The Right Time of Day to Fish

In order to find the right time to go fishing, it is important to learn the factors that affect fish feeding times.

The Sun - Hot Temperatures

As the sun warms the water, fish tend to move to deeper and cooler areas of the water. This is a common rule of thumb for fishermen. Because of the hot sun, it is better to fish in the early morning and late afternoon. 

In the morning, the sun has not yet heated the shallow areas of the lake, river, or ocean. These areas are the best for larger fish because this is where bait fish like to stay. Large fish often swim into these shallow areas while the morning water is cool and they can catch the bait fish. This is the same in the late afternoon. 

During the middle of the day the shallow parts are always warmer as the sun has had time to shine through the water. When the water is warmer, larger fish then often move to the deeper pools of the lake or river. Here they can be cool and out of the sun.

It is best to use a baitcasting reel or spinning reel and jigging bait in the shallow areas during the morning and late afternoon and a spinning reel with a bottom weight bait during the middle of the day. 

Moon 

The moon is another important indicator of when you can fish. When the moon is bright and full, you can fish during the night. The fish cannot see in the dark, so a pure full moon will drive fish to feed at times that they do not usually eat.

Wind

Wind is another important factor when considering the best time to fish. The reason wind affects fishing is due to the flow of food. The wind can push a fish's bait to different areas and cause the fish to search for food at different types of the day.

Tides

Changing tides are also important to consider when determining the best time of day to go fish. As the tides move, so do fish. In general, it is best to fish during high tide. This is when fish are feeding the most. Sometimes it can be smart to fish during a low tide. Fish often will get trapped in shallow pools during low tide which will allow you to catch them easier. 

Cloudy Days

The sun makes fishing better in the morning and late afternoon, but the clouds mitigate this. On an overcast day the sun cannot heat up the water as quickly. This means that fish will feed later into the day and earlier in the afternoon. During a cloudy day you can go fishing in the late morning and early afternoon and still catch plenty of fish. 

Fishing lure

Best Times of the Day to Fish - Ranking

  1. Early Morning
  2. Late Evening
  3. High Tide
  4. Low Tide - Shallow Pools
  5. Cloudy Days - Late Morning or Afternoon
  6. Full Moon

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