What is the Best Tide For Fishing? (Best Times to Fish & Tips)

What is the best tide for fishing?

Usually, fishing is better when there is tide running. This happens during the middle of the tide and not during the low or high levels of the tides. So it is better to go fishing when the tide is near the low or high water.

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What Days are Best for Fishing?

My opinion of the best day is any day that I have an opportunity to go out and enjoy life. When I go fishing I go to relax and enjoy mother nature at her finest.

Some people will only go out on warm sunny days and that is ok. But there are some great days for fishing when there is a little rain falling or a small storm brewing.

One of my best days for catching fish has been in some heavy winds with white caps. The waves were washing over my back while I was sitting in my float tube paddling for shore. It was fantastic as soon as I landed one and cast back out bang I had another one on. I was not sure if I was going to get back to shore because of the wind and the fish.

I have also had some great days fall and winter fishing. There have been several days that you had to break the ice off of your guides so you could cast. There are also some great days in the spring and summer when the weather is nice.

man fly fishing in saltwater

What Time of Day is Best for Fishing?

There are certain times of day when certain fish respond better than other times. How does fishing at night and mid-day fishing compare to early morning and evening fishing?

Usually, early morning and late evening are better times to fish for predator fish such as Bass and Crappie. This is because of the low light conditions that are prevailing during these times.

It is enough for the predator fish to lock in on their prey. But not so much light that the prey can spot the predators. The predators can get a lot closer to the prey without being readily detected.

Of course, times of the year can come into play here. Such as during periods of the seasons when the water is cooler like in early spring, late fall, and winter.

The bite during these times normally will be better after the sun is up and has warmed the water up. In turn, this raises the fish’s metabolism which makes them more active.

angler fly fishing at sunset

Best Times to Fish

The best times to fish are generally when the fish are naturally most active. The Sun, Moon, tides, and the weather all influence fish activity. For example, fish have a tendency to feed more at sunrise and sunset, and also during a full moon. This is when the tides are higher than average.

If you can choose fishing times, try to go in the late afternoon or evening. Try to go shortly before the start of a major or minor period. Focus on prime areas and note the changes in fish activity.

As predators start to become more active. The faster, more aggressive presentations typically work better than those that just tempt bites from inactive fish.

In the strongest lunar periods, the differences in catch rate may mean just a couple extra bass in a long day. The top professional bass anglers, however, will go to great lengths to maximize the minutes they fish.

Because this will up as their chances for a catch. They cast with maximum efficiency, tie knots quickly, and more. That little extra boost can help put big bass in the boat.

This could also mean maybe an extra pound or two at a weigh-in. To maximize your efficiency, be sure to add a solunar calendar to other factors you consider when planning a trip.

fishing on a river bank from kayak in the morning

What Weather is Best for Fishing?

Fish, like lots of other animals, have very good senses about the weather. They are generally very sensitive to passing fronts and pressure changes.

The weather ahead of cold fronts will usually tend to lead to favorable fishing conditions due to lower pressure. Because the fish are so good at sensing changes in pressure, they will often increase their activity. Generally, this happens in the days before a cold front moves in, creating good conditions for catching.

Ahead of a cold front, the pressure is falling, and air bubbles are released in the water. They can take small organisms with them up to the surface, bringing fish up to feed on them.

After the front passes through and for the next few days, fishing conditions will remain poor, however. The high pressure that follows the cold fronts contributes to lethargic fish that won’t move far or near the surface. Fish are not likely to come up and feed frequently during high pressure as they will when the pressure is lower.

Warm fronts can also offer up some ideal fishing conditions. Lower pressure and weaker winds will bring fish closer to the surface and makes them up for swimming longer distances.

Rain can affect how well the fish will be biting as well. Fishing during a light rain makes casting lines more discreet. Insects are more likely to be out flying near the surface of the water during or immediately following a light rain.

Which will bring fish closer to the surface and make them a lot more susceptible to being caught? Rain can cause more organic matter to run into bodies of water and lure fish to the surface to eat.

angler fishing from kayak on lake

Best Moon Phase for Fishing

The moon does have an extremely powerful impact on the earth. It mitigates our climate, and it keeps the earth from wobbling like a top as it spins. It also creates (and regulates) the tidal cycle by which so many creatures survive.

Seeing that the moon has so many impacts in our daily lives, it stands to reason that it also has some impact on fishing – which is something that anglers for years have speculated. Look in any outdoor-themed calendar, and you’re likely to see the “Lunar forecast”. This will come with notes related to how the phase can and will affect the fishing.

Although there is very little in the scientific literature about how fish react to changes in the lunar cycle. It hasn’t stopped anglers from developing some serious superstitions about how it all works.

Some think that fish are most active on some specific lunar phases. While others swear that it has more to do with moon rise and set. Others think that daytime fishing is poor for a couple of days around a full moon. They say this is because the fish are all feeding at night.

The bottom line is everybody knows that there’s a good likelihood that fish are affected by changes in the lunar cycle, but nobody knows definitively how.

We do know some interesting things though. Like the fact that bass and bluegill time their peak spawning activities around a full moon. and that new and full moons result in “spring” tides with higher highs and lower lows that can dramatically affect the way inshore and brackish species act.

So What is the Point

The point is, although the moon and its lunar phases have an impact on the fishing, it’s probably pretty small. So the most important thing to do is to get out fishing, regardless of the moon cycle.

Keep a fishing journal and maybe you’ll create a pattern that every full moon at YOUR lake the fish are biting. Or you might find every quarter moon they go dormant.

It all depends on too many other factors to say for sure one way or another. But the only way to know is to try! Any time on the water is better than none, no matter what the moon is doing just do it.

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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