Fishing Calendar for 2021

Best Fishing Times and Dates from the Old Farmer's Almanac

August 10, 2021
Best Days to Fish

When is the best time to go fishing? See the best fishing dates and times for 2021 from The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s fishing calendar. And enjoy some great fishing tips from Almanac anglers!

When Is the Best Time to Go Fishing?

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

Best Fishing Times

  • One hour before and one hour after high tides, and one hour before and one hour after low tides. Inland, the times for high tides correspond with the times when the Moon is due south. Low tides are halfway between high tides.
  • During the “morning rise” (after sunup for a spell) and the “evening rise” (just before sundown and the hour or so after).
  • During the rise and set of the Moon.
  • When the barometer is steady or on the rise. (But even during stormy periods, the fish aren’t going to give up feeding. The smart fisherman will find just the right bait.)
  • When there is a hatch of flies—caddis flies or mayflies, commonly. (The fisherman will have to match his fly with the hatching flies or go fishless.)
  • When the breeze is from a westerly quarter rather than from the north or east.
  • When the water is still or slightly rippled, rather than during a wind.

However, most of us go fishing when we can get the time off, not because it is the best time! But there are best fishing days, according to lore:

Best Fishing Days in 2021

Fishing is said to be best during the time between a new Moon and a full Moon. This is what the Almanac’s Best Fishing Days are based on.


Best Fishing Days


























For customized Moon phase times, see our Moon Phase Calendar.


    Tackle Box Checklist

    Be prepared! See our list of what to put in your fishing tackle box.

    How to Fish Without Fail (According to Almanac Readers)

    It should come as no surprise that many Almanac readers love to fish. Here are some of the best tips from experts:

    • “The best way to fish in South Texas with chicken liver is to let it sit a while in the good Texas sun, then sprinkle a little garlic powder and a little chili powder on it. This combination makes the liver pasty and it will stay on your triple or single hook with little to no problem. I do offer a warning, that pow you will feel on your line is going to be one big Texas size catfish, so get ready and have some good Texas fishing fun.” –Ramiro Vela

    • “A really good bait I have found is hot dogs with chicken meat. Cut them in desired pieces and set in the sun to ‘dry up’. When they are ‘dried’, they will stay on the hook better. You can put them in a bag in the freezer to keep. Brim and catfish will bite this bait.” –Jean Cannon

    • “The best catfish bait are catalpa worms. You can put what you don’t use in the freezer with a few catalpa tree leaves. When you are ready to fish again, take them out and they come back to life. Start reeling in the big cats.” –Joey Brown

    • “To find the big cats, it would help out if you knew the underwater structure of the pond, river or lake. Find DEEP holes with lots of cover as in over-hangs. Gravel pits are a great place to fish for cats.” –Todd Heil


    • “The best catfish bait that I have found fishing for catfish anywhere bar none is shrimp, yeah it’s a little costly but let me tell ya somethin’ friend, it’s worth it.” –Chuck Hubbard Jr.

    • “I am Blackfoot American Native. We live to fish and hunt our meals. A true hint in catfishing is never to use any type of scents (Cologne, powders, perfume, etc.) Don’t handle cigarettes or any type of tobacco products without washing your hands before applying baits, hooks, sinkers, new line, etc. The fish know these things.” –Tommy Bays

    • “The absolute best way I know to keep your liver on your hook while fishing is: Buy 1 or 2 old plastic ice trays. Go ahead and bait your hook the best you can. I use a “threading” action. Place the hook and liver into the ice tray and let it freeze throughout the night before you go fishing. When you are ready to go fishing, just twist the old ice trays and take the liver cubes and pack them in a bag and put them in a container of ice.” –Chris Payne

    • “In Kentucky where I live we use bait store crickets and mill worms floated with a bobber. Put three or four crickets and a couple of mill worms on a hook and hold on! You have you try different depths until you find the fish. Once you find them you can have a lot of fun catching all sizes. I have caught them from squeakers to 62 pounds on this bait, so good luck!” –Kenny Conley

    • “I’m 68 years old and fish every chance I get. My daddy always told me to watch the cows. If they are up and eating, go fishing. If they are down resting, you might as well stay home. So far this has worked pretty well.” –Edna James

    • “The best bait I have used here in Bradenton, Fla. is fresh mullet that has never been frozen. Catch them late afternoon or at night. Catch them as long as your leg. Good Luck!” –Bill Suggs

    • “As the water in your minnow bucket warms the minnows will slowly die. They need a very cool temperature to survive. Never put ice cubes in with live minnows. The chlorine in the water stays and will kill your bait. Freeze water bottles then gently place them in the bucket. Usually one will be enough.” –Alec Plummer

    • “Try it all, love the outdoors and keep a bait in the water. You won’t catch anything if you aren’t out there!” –Jody Wolf

    Add your own suggestions in the comments below!

    Got any fantastic fishing tales? Share them below, too!


    The 2020 Old Farmer's Almanac


    Reader Comments

    Leave a Comment

    Finding the fish

    Never leave fish, to go and find fish.
    3/8” Lead head jig and a live shrimp is deadly.
    Take a man fishing, feed him for a day,
    Teach him to fish, feed him for life.
    Take a kid Fishin be patient and encourage them if they enjoy it. Then they are hooked for life !

    Catfishing bait

    Combine box of Wheaties, 2 eggs, can of cheap beer and 'juice' from chicken liver container, grind into pasty consistency and refrigerate sealed overnight. best catfishn EVA!


    Best time to go fishing is when the moon is full or a blood moon Use fresh chicken liver. I use a size 2.0 hook Old Panty-hose cut into 2 inch squares make the fish hit hard making it more likely hook will set also bend hook on a Slight right or left angle


    I live in south Louisisana and I use cut hotdogs and soak in Italian dressing. I freeze them so it stays in the hook longer and as it thaws it releases the odor . Good luck fishing

    fish without fail

    wind from west fish bite best, wind from east fish bite least, wind from south cast to his mouth, wind from north only brave go forth.

    Sound waves

    Do you think fish feel sound? Try being quiet while bank fishing. Walk stealthy to your point.
    I’m in knee high boots. Being still and they go right past my feet! Even a big big snapper! Don’t know what to do because it freaks you out! Be slow be careful. I get so excited I shake lol breathe slow down. You will get fish:)


    Just knowing where the fish are is a big deal. Time of yr, weather, all the fish gear yeah sure cool. Learn how to work your lures!!!
    Learn your water! Species behavior learn it! “Use liquid power bait” just a drop of the slime on that lure or fake worm. Cast let it sit till the ripple is gone.

    The best jig

    I have caught Crappie, Bass, Catfish and Bluegill on this particular jig, neon green with red eyes, black circle around the red. Either with a live worm or minnow.

    Limburger cheese balls

    How many of you catfishermen have made Limburger cheese balls for your bait?
    It is the ultimate “stinky bait”. Be forewarned that the smell does not wash off your hands,
    but the catfish love it. (75 years ago there were no plastic gloves to use while rolling the
    Limburger cheese.) From Wisconsin with love.

    Catfishing off the dock

    I use hot dogs. Slice them into coins and sprinkle with salt as you add to container (cottage cheese tall) The salt toughens them up to stay on hook better. Sneaky cats can suck them right off the hook. Drain water and add more salt and dogs. Never spoils and always ready to go. Fish on folks


    Growing up in Northeast Iowa I had to be one of the luckiest kids I knew. My Grandfather owned a baitshop in Waterloo called Hanks Live Bait and Tackle
    As a boy I'd sit and listen to the old timers talk hunting and fishing for hours on end. But the one thing I picked up from my gramps really stuck cause the very first time I tried it it worked to perfection like a movie script. Anyway during a time of high water the river backed up into a over flow dike canal. Fishing shoulder to shoulder in this one little pool using plastics on a Beatle spinner say as every body else except one thing. A shot of WD40 on my twister and in 4 casts I landed 4 of the nicest walleye I'd ever caught.
    I'd never have believed it if I hadn't of done it myself but that WD-40 secret handed down from my gramps was a real game changer. Give it a try sometime and you may be just as I was that day many many years ago.
    Thanks Gramps you were the best.

    Liver bait

    I have found it easy to keep liver on a hook with a trick my dad and grandma showed to me as a child. Use Legg eggs. Sock type sheer pantyhose, take an amount of liver you want to use and stuff it into the toe end of one of the socks, tie a knot tightly above the liver, bait the hook in your normal fashion. This trick gives you reusable bait for the day. When the liver 'dries out' of it's natural juices, dip it into the container of the remaining liver and let it draw in some more flavor. Also, the remaining peice of the sock can be tied at the end, flipped inside out so that the knot is inside, filled and used as another bait sack.


    Best time to go fishing is when you can. It’s good for the heart and soul and bring a kid along to.

    Chicken liver

    Best thing I found to keep chicken livers on is wrap your baited treble hook with pantyhose

    Catfish bait

    Well here in nebraska we find if you want big cats you need to use one of two for sure baits .live leopard frogs will kill on big flatheads and the other is creek chubs the bigger the better. And they will take all three species of cats channels ,flatheads , and everybody's favorite big blues .and here in nebraska there's chubs in almost every creek with flowing water .thanks for reading .

    Catfish Bait

    I have been fishing for cats for many years. I have found my new favorite bait this summer.
    it sounds crazy and gets a lot of comments from people.
    Take 2 chicken breast cut them in to 1" chunks put in a zip lok baggie add 3 table spoons of minced garlic and a box of strawberry jello.(the bigger box with sugar) you can use it right away but I prefer to set it in the fridge for a couple of days, it draws the moisture out of the chicken and it will stay on the hook better... I have fished this beside stink bait,shrimp and night crawlers.Good Luck!!! I have caught Northern Pike,Carp,Golden eye and White Bass and of course Catfish.
    Bobby Pechak

    Fishing bait



    When I get out, I always look at what bugs are around, usually grass hoppers in the morning before they warm up are the best I think. Out in New Mexico we usually only catch trout, if you on a lake or a drain, your on your own, although I do get some luck with chicken livers in the drains, just have to make sure they smell real good and rotten.


    I found the best way to keep liver on a hook for catfishing is to bait the hook and then wrap it with a piece of cheese cloth

    willow cats for big catfish

    one of my favorite catfish baits is willow catfish or yellow belly catfish,,, a big ole flat head or blue cat cant pass them up,,,horse head suckers are a very close 2nd


    I almost forgot .... some

    I almost forgot .... some fish like white bread and or hotdogs too!

    Know your fish and what they like.

    Over here in South Georgia my PaPa always said "if the wind blows from the east fishing is the least but wind from the west made fishing the best". Keeping that in mind I use liver, crickets and worms and sometimes I fish from the top or I fish on the bottom. Depends on whether its catfish, bass, carp or brim and what that particular group of fish prefer at that time and place. I'm no expert but i never come home empty handed either :) Good Luck and have fun!


    Best bait I use here in east Alabama along the chattahochee is night crawlers. I catch a little bit of everything on them.
    Here's a real tip. If you really want to enjoy fishing take a kid with you. Teach them good conservation habits and watch their eyes light up when they hook that big one.

    catfish bait

    The best bait I've found is white bread. Just take some and ball it up, put it on your hook and get ready to catch fish. Works for bream too. I've even caught trout on it. For trot lines and jug fishing we normally use liver.


    After 20 years of no fishing...finaly whent back to the Rivers and lakes in my are in California..whent out there 4 times catch only one 1/2 pound cat..using the carolina rig over and over cus that is what i was used to back in the 90's..i gues rivers and lakes got dirtyer with mud and moss..finaly found my friend from muddy River fishing (Kris Florez) i started using his Kentucky modified rig and boom!!.. I tried liver...Mackrell...bit shrimp worked allways..god bless u all.get out there and fish..

    Fl, Panhandle

    All you need is a fat earth worm about 4ft deep, River falling, and the moon big in the sky. Day or night cat fishing and awesome brim.

    What bait to use

    I have found that using squid soaked in Hawaiian Punch is a KILLER fresh bait in Mississippi and you can also spray all of your bait and lures with wd-40 and catch a good bit, too! But, as always w any bait, catch catch anything if you don’t have SOMETHING on a hook and be in the water. Happy fishing!

    Catfish baits

    Ive found that fresh cut baits turn out more 10 + blues than stink baits.


    I always thought it putting bubble gum in your mouth chewing it up and spitting on the hook always work well for me taking away the scent

    Best bait I've found

    Cicadias make awesome bait. Pull off one wing so it can't fly . Bait your hook with no weights or bombers. Let them float and move around onto of water and best bass you'll ever catch.