The Truth About the Best Time of Day to go Fishing

What’s the best time of day to go fishing? I hear this question being asked all the time. Fishermen assume that there is a certain time “of day” to go fishing. The real question is “What major factors affect fish feeding activity?”. And the answer is:

Weather is one of the biggest determining factors of how fish act. Keep an eye on the weather and you will know when to fish. Approaching cold fronts/low pressure zones make fish go on a feeding frenzy. The key word here is “approaching”. When a warm front/high pressure zone passes this usually means that the pressure will be falling and a cold front will be approaching.

Barometric pressure is directly related to the weather patterns and will affect fishing. The best times to fish is when the barometric pressure is falling. Check out my barometric pressure cheat sheet here.

Water temperature makes a big difference in how active fish are. Since fish are cold blooded, they depend on their environment for warmth. When they are at their ideal temperature they are more active. Most fish prefer warmer water, which explains why fishing can be better during the warmer seasons. For cold water fish like trout the ideal water temperature is 50 to 60 degrees (give or take). For warm water fish like bass the ideal temperature is 60-70 degrees (give or take).

All “science” aside: In my personal experience, I noticed that fishing is usually best in the early mornings and late evenings. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that fishing can’t be good at other times. I have had amazing fishing at all hours of the day and night. Early mornings and late evenings just happen to work best for me “most” of the time.

**Update: AnglerWise Ultralight Fishing Store is now open.

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  1. Mel

    Thanks for the insight shared on this post. I agree that, generally, the best times to fish are early and late in the day. In my experience this is true for lakes and reservoirs etc. However, stream fishing seems to be better during mid morning hours for me. However, the next angler may tell you something different for them.

  2. anglerwise

    True, I have noticed that mid morning hours are the most productive when stream fishing. However, I also do very well right before the sun goes down.

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