Effective Fishing Techniques Part I – Environmental

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Anglers have a variety of theories on why some people catch more fish than others. Some people consider fishing success a matter of luck while others feel that catching more fish is accomplished through a combination of hard work, knowledge, experience, and attention to detail

The following list covers a few concepts that are known to help anglers catch more fish:

Time of Day

In many fisheries, time of day can make a dramatic difference in fishing success. The most active periods for many fish species occur around sunrise and sunset. Top notch anglers are often on the water and fishing by sunrise.


In coastal rivers and creeks, tides can affect water level, flow, and other factors. These daily cycles of flooding and receding water often trigger fish activity. To fish successfully in coastal rivers and creeks, anglers must understand tides and how they affect fishing.

Moon Phases

Lunar phases can have major impacts on freshwater fish species. Depending on the species, season, and other factors, the best fishing may occur may around the new moon or full moon. The impacts from moon phases on fish behavior are often inter-related with time of day.


Currents can impact fish as well as anglers. In order to exploit the effects of currents of fish, anglers must be able to recognize and understand the basics of the most common currents. These include tidal flows, temperature-related currents, stream flows, weather-driven currents, and other movements

Water Levels

Water levels can make or break a fishing trip. Changes in water levels can be caused by drought, precipitation, human control, or other factors. When water levels change on a body of water, they usually trigger currents or impact the dynamics of existing currents.

Insect Hatches

In some fisheries, aquatic insects are an important segment of fish diets. This is especially true for freshwater trout, bass, sunfish, suckers, and other species. For fly fishermen, learning how to identify, predict, and mimic insect hatches can be extremely important.


Productive anglers often have knowledge about what types of baitfish are eaten by gamefish. As with insect hatches, anglers often achieve success by presenting lures that closely resemble local baitfish. In some fisheries, anglers go to great lengths to obtain and rig the exact live baits that fish are known to feed on.

Effective Fishing Techniques Part II