Fish are cold-blooded creatures, which means that they cannot regulate their body temperature to stay at a constant level. The temperature of the fish’s surrounding influences their body temperature. When it gets too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter the fish in shallow waters (lakes, ponds, and rivers) become sluggish. This is because extreme temperatures reduce the amount of oxygen in the water making them less active.
Knowing this biology also teaches us the first lesson: determine the best time and tide to fish and avoid extreme temperatures if possible. Moreover, it also helps us to choose the right lures or bates to use and how fast or slow we have to work with them. In cold water since the fish are slower, you need to work on your tackle slower and work on it faster in warm water.
Fish prefer warm water; this is usually during early mornings or late afternoons towards evening. In the morning the sun warms the water making a comfortable environment for the fish. During early spring it is best to fish late in the morning where the sun has a chance to warm the water, especially the shallows with dark or muddy bottoms. Dark and muddy bottoms warm up faster than light sandy ones.
During chilly early spring days, it is best to fish in warm water temperatures. It makes bait fish more active and available to game fish. Move to cooler, deeper waters during hot sunny days. High temperatures cause the shallow fish move to cooler and deeper waters to stay comfortable. Fish during early mornings and late afternoons where the temperature is cooler and when lower light levels make fish go to the shallows to eat.
During midday, fish are in deeper waters because the surface temperature goes up which decreases the surface oxygen and sometimes during this time of the day the wind increases. If you opt to fish during this time, it is best to use deep fishing baits, rigs
The wind can make or break your fishing location, time, technique, and gear choices. It dictates your fishing success. This is because the wind pushes the warm water and the food to the far offshore. On a windy day, you can shore fish. Make sure to cast your lure into the wind so it can move with it. If you are fishing from a boat, go to a sheltered shore as you cast with the wind.
Like any other animals, fish are attuned to barometric conditions. This affects fishing success. Before a storm hits, fish feeding increases as they prepare for the cold front. Feeding decreases after a storm or front hits.
It is not advisable to fish right after a cold front, wait it out a day or two. Warm fronts, on the other hand, causes the water temperature to rise, making the fish in a feeding frenzy. This is true during winter when warm fronts hit it increases the temperature causing the sluggish fish to feed near
On a normal sunny day, fish tend to hide and stay close to a structure but on a cloudy day they cruise for food. Overcast skies prevent harsh light to penetrate thus signals the fish to look for food. During a cloudy day, they are less likely to stay near a structure and more likely to scatter throughout a waterway.
During warm spring or summer, light rain is one of the best times to fish. When shore, wade, or boat fishing, rain helps you hide from the fish as it breaks up its view through the water. It also helps create a feeding binge for the fish as it washes insects and fishing baits into the water.
Now you know the best time to fish through the seasons, go ahead and check your state’s regulation on fishing, make sure to regularly consult your local weather and fishing conditions. For coast states, information on best saltwater fishing times are often provided. Get your fishing license online now and have fun!