What Time of Day Is Best to Fish?

Making the most of your time fishing

Thoughts On Fishing At Different Times During The Day

Man fishing at a lake

Any experienced fisherman will tell you that a lot of planning and preparation go into fishing trips.

Whether you’re planning on just going out for a couple of hours or a couple of days, taking a few minutes to get a plan together can help you catch more fish and enjoy your time more.

Best results, it’s always best to select the perfect time of day to go fishing. This can make the difference between not catching anything and bringing back a big haul.

When it comes to effective fishing, every hour of the day has its own advantages and disadvantages.

You can’t always know when fish will be actively looking for food; however, there are certain times of day that will offer you more opportunities for a solid catch.

While it is generally true that the morning and evening are the best times to fish.

However, there are exceptions to this rule.

Depending on your location and weather climate, daytime and nighttime fishing can also offer certain advantages.

If you want to get a good catch and enjoy your time fishing, it’s your job to select the best time of day to get out there.

If you want to understand the pros and cons of fishing at certain times of the day, we’ve compiled our thoughts on the subject.

This should help you plan accordingly for your specific fishing situation.

The Pros and Cons of Different Fishing Times

Fishing in the Morning

Fishing in the morning

There is a popular aphorism to the effect that; “The early bird gets the worm”. Even though this is a little odd to say, this can apply to fishing as well, “The early angler gets the fish.”

There is no doubt that morning is a great time to fish.

This is because, in the morning, water is typically at its lowest temperature of the day.

This lower temperature is a more comfortable setting for the fish, so they will venture out into areas they would generally avoid during the day.

The morning is also breakfast time for fish. Many fish are hungry because the last time they had a meal was the night before.

Morning light also provides an ideal lighted environment for the fish. The dim light and shadows created by the rising sun provide areas in the open water that fish feel more comfortable venturing into to find food.

During the morning, many anglers report having great success using insect lures to catch fish, since this is the natural prey of many fish in the morning.

The only caveat here is that early morning fishing may not be ideal during the winter or late fall.

While the fish will come out early in the morning during the warm summer months, they are unlikely to be up and about at this time when it’s still cold out and before the water has had a chance to warm up a bit from the sun.

It is more likely that during the cold months, fish will remain inactive until the sun comes out in the afternoon.

Fishing in the Afternoon

Fishing in the afternoon

Fishing in the afternoon during the late spring and early summer can be tough.

Not only are the water temperatures too hot for the fish, but it can also be unbearably hot for you during the day fishing in the sun.

During the hot afternoon, fish will typically move to the darkest and deepest parts of the water in search of cool pockets.

Also, the increased brightness from the sun will scare many of the fish away from the open waters due to the increased dangers of being caught by predators.

However, if you are fishing in the fall or winter, you are likely to be more successful in the daytime than in the morning.

In the winter, lighting and temperatures may be too low for the fish in the morning. These two conditions can be better in the afternoon so it makes sense attempting some afternoon fishing at this time of the year.

In any case, afternoon fishing may be your only option in the winter because the water may be too cold at any other time of the day during the winter.

Fishing in the Early Evening

Fishing in the evening

Fishing in the evening will offer you many of the same benefits as fishing in the early morning.

At this time, many fish are hungry and they are out in the water looking for dinner.

The temperatures will also have begun to decrease making the open water more bearable to swim in. The setting sun will also decrease the visibility in the water which provides the fish better cover from their natural predators.

This means that many fish will be comfortable to come out of their hiding places.

While they are out looking for insects, You can be right there fishing for them.

Of course, the caveat is that evening fishing might not be lucrative during the late fall or winter months. At this time, temperatures are dropping and the weather is overcast.

Fishing during the brightest hours of late fall and winter often remains your best option.

However, in areas where you have a mild winter, you can still fish in the morning and evening.

Fishing at Night

First off, nighttime fishing is not always possible in all seasons and every location. However, it can work out well under the right conditions.

Once the sun goes down, some fish will call it a day and you cannot catch them no matter what you try.

However, some larger fish will be out hunting as they prefer to feed after sundown.

Fish in this category include catfish, walleye, and bass.

Now, you can target these big fish and, if you are lucky, you will get an amazing catch.

The light of the moon will help you if you are fishing at night. This is because moonlight may accentuate your lure in a positive way and this will make the fish take the bait.

The major problem with nighttime fishing is temperature.

Even on a hot day, temperatures are likely to fall after sunset. For this reason, nighttime fishing is often a race against time. You are trying to do as much as you can before the temperature falls to an inconveniently low level.

Even with this minor inconvenience, nighttime fishing can offer you a great and lucrative fishing time.

Other Things to Consider Before Fishing

Apart from the factors above, there are other things to consider when you plan your fishing trips. These factors will guide you so that you get the most out of your time fishing.

Changing Tides

If you like to do your fishing in saltwater, you have to consider the tide.

In this case, you have to decide whether to fish in the incoming tide or the outgoing tide.

However, most experts are of the view that fishing during a waning slack tide is not the right way to go.

Unpredictable Weather

Weather is another important factor to keep your eyes on. It can really affect whether you have an enjoyable or miserable time fishing.

The problem with the weather is that it is not always easy to predict.

Stay alert to your surroundings, changes in temperature or wind velocity can indicate an incoming storm.

If you’re in an area that has cell reception, checking your weather app can also help spot storms coming your way.

Safety and Comfort

If you are looking to make a good catch, your primary consideration should be whether the fish are biting or not.

However, you are not a robot so it makes sense to consider your personal safety and comfort as well.

Fishing in excessive heat or cold can pose dangers to your health. So keep these in mind and take appropriate steps beforehand to plan for these situations.

Obviously, you want to bring home a good catch from your time fishing, but I’ve always held the opinion that I also want to enjoy my time fishing.

For this reason, it pays to consider your personal safety and comfort before heading out.

Another thing you should consider when you are fishing at night is mosquitoes. These insects come in different varieties including anopheles, tiger, and culex varieties.

Now, while these insects are great treats for the fish you are trying to catch, they can be dangerous to you.

Remember to apply adequate levels of mosquito repellent before heading out.

For day time protection, it also pays to wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and light clothes to adequately protect you from the sun.

The last thing you want is to end up with a bad sunburn.

This is especially important to remember during the winter months. During the summer, you may be more inclined to remember sunscreen, but the sun doesn’t go away during the winter.

Just because it’s cold and even overcast, doesn’t mean you can’t get a sunburn.

Take the appropriate precautions and make sure your skin is protected.

Preparation is key when fishing which is why you always want to be prepared with a good plan and the right fishing gear.

Finally, if you are keen on nighttime fishing, you should always bring an excellent source of light. You also need some back-up bulbs and even batteries.

In some cases, the light of the moon may be enough to guide you.

However, this natural source of light can be inconsistent and unreliable.

Depending on where you live and where you’re fishing, there are many predators that hunt during the night that you need to be mindful of.

Make sure you make it home from fishing safely.

Final Thoughts

In the end, the best advice we can give you is to make sure you’re familiar with the location your fishing in.

If you’re fishing in a new location, take some time to get familiar with the environment and the type of fish in the area.

Taking time to put a good plan together will help make your time fishing much more productive and enjoyable.

We hope that this article has provided you with some helpful tips and thoughts.

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