early morning fishingTime is one of the most important factors in fishing. These include time of day, seasonal timing, tidal influences, lunar phases, and other states.

Time of Day

In some areas, fish become extremely active even before sunrise. Many of these periods of heavy feeding may last only a short time.

Similar feeding periods often occur in the last hour or so of daylight.

In other situations, fishing may actually improve during the daylight hours. For example, when water temperatures are low, fish may migrate into shallows during sunny periods.

Some species actually bite better after dark and may be caught at night.


Fishing often improves during changes in weather. For more information, see Effects of Weather on Freshwater Fishing.

Tides, Currents, and Water Levels

Tides often trigger feeding periods. When fishing in tidal waters, it is imperative to acquire tide information in advance.

Study currents in lakes, rivers, and streams. Learn about factors that cause or impact currents.

In areas where dams are present, learn about water discharges.

Successful anglers often study recent water flows as these can have tremendous impacts on fish behavior.

Times to Avoid

Anglers often improve success by avoiding periods of heavy fishing. Among the least productive times to fish are often during or right after summer holidays, tournaments, or other events where heavy fishing pressure or boat traffic occurs.

In many areas, fishing during periods of calm winds and high barometric pressure tends to be unproductive, especially during the daytime.

Related Information

Tips and Techniques