Best Fishing Days 2018

Best Fishing Times and Tips

Best Days to Fish

When is the best time to go fishing? See our best fishing days in the Almanac’s 2018 fishing calendar, below.

When is the Best Time to Go Fishing?

Fishing is best during the time between a new moon and a full moon. This is what the Best Fishing Days (below) are based on.

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).

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

Best Fishing Days 2018

  • January 1, 16–31
  • February 15 – March 1
  • March 17–31
  • April 15–29
  • May 15–29
  • June 13–28
  • July 12–27
  • August 11–26
  • September 9–24
  • October 8–24
  • November 7–23
  • December 7–22

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

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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).
  • 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 rippled, rather than during a wind.

Tackle Box Checklist

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

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How to Fish Without Fail (According to Almanac Readers)

It should come as no surprise that many Almanac readers love to fish. Here’s some advice from the 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!

Source: 

The 2018 Old Farmer's Almanac

Reader Comments

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fishing in ky

my husband my boys and i always do really good using small cuts of chicken breast tenders soaked in cherry kool aid powder we catch catfish blue gill bass even turtles we never go fishing and leave empty handed

Catfish bait

I have tried everything but pizza.

Fishing

One of my best baits are shrimp or canidian night crawlers , if they don’t hit them they not biting !!! D.breaux

Nice

This article is so helpful!

Garner State Park Catfish`

Garner catfish love hotdogs. we caught some big ones on just a little kids' snoopy fishing pole!

When to go

Ice fishing - when the birds are at the feeder

Keeping liver on your hook

When using liver to catch fish, I tie on a single long shank hook. Then I tie 10-12 inches of 4lb. leader on just below the eye of the hook. Thread on a piece of liver and then wrap the 4lb. leader around the liver going down the shaft to the hook and then back to the eye. Pull tight and tie off the 4lb. leader. Cut off the access leader, cast your line, and hold on.
I have caught 4-5 big cats this way On The Same Piece Of Liver!
The only problem using this method is if you don't catch any fish it takes you awhile to get the liver off your hook. Ha.
Tight Lines, strong knotts.

Keeping liver on your hook

Once you placed your liver on the hook. Take about 2 foot of Sewing thread and wraparound no need to tie it off cast as hard as you want chicken liver will not come off. When done fishing you’ll have to burn the thread off your hook or cut it off. Good luck

Fishing with minnows

I use a regular needle and thread or hook and sew the minnow or other bait carefully to the hook too keep the fish from stealing bait LOL. YEAH.....I CATCH MORE THIS WAY

Daily fishing Southern Bell

Fly fishing

Keep your fly in the water as much as you can. Even a poor cast may catch a fish. Unless you are in the middle of a specific hatch use the best proven basic flies like a Pheasant Tail nymph or a Parachute Adams. Keep things simple forget all of the fancy flies. Finally, regardless of the hatch fly size and proper presentation are the keys to remember.

Catfish bait

We use chicken hearts in central Alabama for blue cats. They are cheap and tough. Also we find gray sand wigglers. They are smelly and really good for cats. Just dug about 500 today.
We also use Shad.

Catfish Bait

I have used fresh ground beef and Linberger Cheese to catch catfish. Make a dough ball using small amounts of ground beef and linberger cheese add just enough flour to tighten and hold it together. Use a treble hook and the catfish love the stinky cheese. I use a small cooler to keep the ground beef cool while fishing. Give it a try, it works for me here in Illinois.

Catfish bait

What is the exact recipe you use for the ground beef with Limburger and flour if you don't mind sharing? Thank you

Catfish bait

I'm gonna try this lol

Catfish bait

I use hamburger limburger cheese spread and add flour also try putting shredded cotton balls in the mixture and keep it cool use on a treble book you can also after putting your hair on use a piece of
ladies nylons around the bait to keep it on the hook i use small rubber bands to tighten the nylon on the hook

This is fishing info for andrew

Happy fishing

catfish

after a good day of cat fishing with chicken livers I ran out of bait. I had a couple of slim jims in my tackle box and decided to give it a try. well I caught the biggest fish of the day. now I use it on a regular basis. I guess catfish will eat anything.

Cat Fish

Will I have read almost everything I can about catching catfish, Nevertheless, J.Kennedy this is the time I've read and or heard this one! Not that a catfish will eat anything, but the slim jims bait will Mr. Kennedy I am fishing tonight here in Mexico,Mo. i'll give a follow up on the slim jims rather catch or no catch.

Thanks: Jerry C. :)

Catfish

I fish in Lake Sinclair in Middle Ga which is a large Ga Power lake. I catch a lot of nice catfish off my dock. I use minnows and have a lot of success. Also, by fishing with minnows you have a better chance of catching other nice fishh like crappie and bass. With minnows I catch very few small catfish, which was always a problem using cut bait, livers or worms. Bream heads are good for large catfish but you will not catch as many fish.

Response to Edna James - Cows

Response to Edna James - Cows Standing or laying down, "Has been my experience, some standing and some laying down, means fish are biting somewhere on the lake." (LOL)

Catfish

Best bait cotobow worm next is cock rouchs

Best Fishing

When Salmon fishing here in No. Cali, I wrap a chunk of fish roe in a small piece of cheesecloth. Caught several lunkers using this. Was taught by a wise old fisherman.

Best Fishing

Wow great idea! I may try this with liver.

Hooked on bass, large mouth..

Hooked on bass, large mouth... Dark lizards skipping across the bottom. Working great in local ponds(with permission)

Fishing is so much fun.

Fishing is so much fun.

Fishing

Nice data hope it wil be helpful..will try and get back again

fishing

this is fishing

Florida saltwater

Florida saltwater

FISHING IN OROVILE CA!!

The best bait iv found is.......... well it depends on where u are.. even in the same big lake, different schools of fish although the same breed will eat different baits.. I.E. I can fish one area in the lake for spotted bass using a watermelon colored plastic worm, and almost every cast has a bite. but in the same lake about 20 mins away, the fish don't want anything to do with that plastic worm.... instead they may like go after certain colored crank baits.. .. it all depends on what they are custom to eating where they live....

basic for fishing

its been years since ive done any fishing,my biggest problem is learning how to throw a fishing rod.since I have retired I get tired of working in the garden.how can I get a dvd on fishing?

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