We have all heard the expression “the early bird catches the worm”, haven’t we? But is that actually true when it comes to the early worm catching the fish? Here are my expert tips for the best times of day to go fishing:
In most cases, mornings and evenings truly are the best times to catch fish, especially during summer. Factors such as light intensity, fish activity, and water temperature play an important role during these hours.
Read this article for expert tips on why fishing in the morning and evening is absolutely best (especially during summer), and what other times of day you shouldn’t completely disregard when fishing.
The Best Times of Day to Go Fishing
Yes, the early bird really does catch the worm most of the time. It might be tough getting up at 4 a.m., getting dressed, eating a quick breakfast, and then driving off to the water while it’s still pitch black out there.
But let me tell you this: your chances of catching fish during this time of day can be phenomenal That has to do with several very crucial factors:
Be it winter, spring, summer, or fall, the early morning sun is always low and that means that direct sunlight is a minor, or no problem at all when it comes to fishing.
As most fish always seek shadows and hiding places, to either wait for prey, hide from predators, or feed in peace and quiet, early mornings provide the perfect cover, no matter where the fish are!
It is now that they feel the most secure and confident, which means that they will move more freely and feed much more than during the daytime.
The morning hours’ twilight simply allows them to focus more on feeding and less on surviving, which is a constant balancing act beneath the surface.
So, due to the less intense light, the fish become more active, but that’s not the only reason. Morning fish activity also has to do with higher oxygen levels in the water and the fact that some species actually rest during the night hours, or at least decrease their activity.
Just like us, they then sort of “wake up” and, quite naturally, become hungry.
Fish activity in the morning also increases because of the food chain effect.
Much like fish, insects also become more active in the early morning hours, and so food for large non-predators, as well as small fish, is plentiful. And if the small fish are active, so will the predators.
The third factor goes hand in hand with the other two. In fact, they all do, and by doing so, they create the perfect fishing conditions in the early hours of the day.
After the cooler hours of the night, the water temperature has dropped a few degrees and it is now that the water becomes more oxygenated.
But, the water also starts to become warmer again. It is that exact window between colder night temperature and warmer day temperature that often makes fishing in the early morning so efficient.
Fishing in the evening, and the conditions you will experience during this time of day, are the exact mirror of the morning hours. Just think upside-down!
Might intensity is now going from high to low, and the water temperature is once again entering this in-between phase of warmer day temperature and cooler night temperature.
The food chain activity once again kicks in during the late hours of the day; insects start to come out once the sun begins to set, and the non-predators, small fish, and hence also the predators, begin to feed again.
Depending on the water temperature and the current weather conditions (which are discussed further down), the fish are most likely staying active way after dark.
So, no matter if you are fishing in the morning or evening, it is absolutely crucial that you do not pack up too early, even if you are experiencing shorter periods of inactivity!
Too many fishermen call it a day (or night), as soon as the sun has come up or has disappeared on the horizon. Don’t do the same mistake, if you want to catch more fish.
The first (or last) darkness of the day and the short grey twilight zones are extremely hot periods for fishing, make sure you don’t miss them!
Good Weather Conditions for Fishing in The Morning and Evening
Okay, now that we have identified the best times of day to go fishing, let’s combine them with favorable weather conditions!
By the way, if you want to read up on the best weather conditions for fishing trips, check out this article that I recently published!
Combined with this article, it’ll give you everything you need to know about perfect timing and weather for fishing.
Check your local weather forecast and pick days (or nights) that are overcast and mild. Now, if they also have a little humidity or scattered, light rainfall in them, you can be pretty sure that you are heading for a successful fishing trip!
When it comes to barometric pressure and wind direction, here is what you should be looking for. Pick days with a gentle to moderate South or Southwestern wind and air pressure that is stable or slowly dropping.
If you can find days with all, or most, of the above-mentioned factors, then you will pick many more good fishing days than bad ones.
And for those of you who have a limited amount of time to spend, much like I do in my day-to-day life, this is indeed a very valuable way to plan your fishing trips.
How Good Is Fishing During Daytime??
Of course, sometimes you just don’t find the time to go fishing in the early mornings or late evenings, it happens.
Fishing during the daytime can be quite rewarding as well, as long as you pick the right seasons for it. Late fall and winter are primarily the ones you want to pick when day fishing!
Once again, we have to look at the essential factors’ mirror effects that occur in these seasons.
During the colder months of the year, you will want to focus on the time of day that is the warmest. This, of course, means the light hours of the day, doesn’t it!
Fish activity simply seems to drop when it’s dark during those times of year, and you are upping your chances significantly if you are focusing on day fishing during late fall and winter.
This doesn’t mean that you should not do any daytime fishing during the warmer periods of the year, by no means!
But this article is all about giving you expert tips on how you can truly optimize your fishing and the time you are investing in it.
So, when it comes to late spring and summer, try to focus on mornings and evenings, and save your valuable time for other things during the day.
How Good Is Fishing at Night?
As I mentioned, the really late hours of an evening fishing trip can often be very rewarding. On some days, the period and fish activity between semi-dark and totally dark can become rather stretched.
And if you are really lucky, it could even be never-ending, which then means that you should consider an overnighter!
RELATED ARTICLE: If you are planning a night fishing trip, make sure to read this in-depth article on how to fish at night
This is, once again, especially good advice for summer fishing. First of all, in some regions of the world, a summer night barely even gets dark, which means that you have plenty of those brilliant twilight periods at night!
And second of all, the warmer a summer day is, the more inactive the fish will be during that day. This then, naturally, leads to much more (and longer) activity during nighttime.
All an all-night fishing trip really is, is a prolonged bridge between the two best times of day to go fishing; which are mornings and evenings. If the conditions are right and if you have the time to do it, go for it! You will certainly not regret it.