Fishing Calendar for 2018

Best Fishing Times from the Old Farmer's Almanac

Best Days to Fish

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

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 2018–2019

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.

Month

Best Fishing Days

2018 2019

January

1, 16–31 5–21

February

15–28 4–19

March

1, 17–31 6–20

April

15–29 5–19

May

15–29 4–18

June

13–28 3–17

July

12–27 2–16, 31

August

11–26 1–15, 30, 31

September

9–24 1–14, 28–30

October

8–24 1–13, 27–31

November

7–23 1–12, 26–30

December

7–22 1–12, 26–31

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

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    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

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    • “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

    Leave a Comment

    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?

    hey well if you have a good

    hey well if you have a good internet connection id recommend watching as many videos as your heart desires on Youtube.. in fact anytime i need some info on something I no little to none about.. I Youtube the same subject 3-4 times and make sure most people do it the same.

    Fishing,birds

    My mother told me when the birds start chirping,singing the fish will start biting, and its true! I have also taught this to my grandchildren, they are amazed, RIP, my sweet mamma.

    Fishing

    Hi Frank. The best place for tip and info is Field and Stream magazine. You will learn a lot.

    Learning to cast

    I taught myself how to cast a fly rod using no hook just weight in a swimming pool. I used a blowup circle to float in the pool. Just aim and cast. It was fun.

    We love fishing

    Thank you for the fishing tips I will try them

    bloodworm

    I'm from Russia. Recent trends for fishing - artificial bloodworm, maggots, caterpillars, worm and caviar. Motyl is made from a protein with flavor and looks beautiful, like a real worm. This is a unique Russian product. Its fishermen are buying from Russia, Hungary, and even China. Reviews are very good. Now you can order and via the Internet
    https://www.etsy.com/ru/listing/263945238/bait-for-fishing-trout-walleye...

    Fishing with livers

    A tip to help keep livers on your hook, use panty hose. Cut them into 2 or 3 inch sections tie the ends up, put your liver in hose, thread on hook. You will usually get several cast out of one liver. Also if you can find them but rooster livers, they are tougher and will not desolve or sling off the hook as easy.

    liver in pantyhose bait for catfish

    used the pantyhose trick all my life. tying takes practice. those catfish can't pass up a stinky liver.

    i fish the missouri river

    i fish the missouri river near omaha have good luck with just canned corn have caught hundreds of carp anywhere from 10 to 30 pounds and channel cats from 5 to 20 pounds a tip throw a hanfull of corn in the water right in front of you near the shore and another in front of you farther out then bait up and quickly put in a good rod holder and try to get your second line in many times ill have fish on before i get the second one in lots of times i end up using only one pole cause it gets hectic with 2 seems like if i look away for a second or baiting a hook bam! poles bent down hard with the drag screaming. are these fish playin me like a fiddle? i think yes what a rush! tip 2 when your not getting bites look around the shore for bugs or whatever moves cause these are things those fish have been eating big yellow grasshoppers are good bait i found a big praying mantis last time i went 3 minutes in the water i nearly got my rod yanked out of my hand it was a 35 pound flathead cat! so try whatever you see anything works too hot dogs, leftovers from dinner any meat any! caught a 15 pound channel cat last week on a piece of leftover pork chop!who knew? a 22 pound flathead on a piece of fresh garlic that i had mixed with hot dogs had corn on my hook and put the garlic on there too for the hell of it i thought to myself daaammm these fish eat anything this late summer and fall river fishing has been the best ! god bles all who enjoy this awesome sport. good luck and keep eyes open for unlikely baits. peace out

    Fishing tips

    Use old knee high panty hose. Don't Wash em. You want them to smell like stinky feet. Cut into bout five inch sections. Tie or sew up one end to close. Put chicken livers or any bait you are having trouble keeping on hook. Tie up open end, put it on hook you are ready to go. You won't loose your bait

    I reside in southern Maryland

    I reside in southern Maryland any tips on where the best fishing is? Thanks

    Most accurate weather checks

    Most accurate weather checks of all.

    In North Texas, we have

    In North Texas, we have recently discovered that small pieces of McDonald's Chicken McNuggets are really good bait for catfish !!! Sounds crazy, but it works!!

    I am from Minnesota land of

    I am from Minnesota land of 10,000 lakes i am a walleye fisherman where it takes a lifetime of knowledge to produce fish and not everyone can do it. cats are what we call trash can fish if you tried bringing stinkbait around here you wouldnt be allowed in the boat the fish are a lil smarter up here you have to learn the enviroment and ecosystem for each lake understand and know that depth and presentation for every lure in your box to trigger a strike its not the same as just chunking a big stinky piece of whatever out there and waiting we work for our fish not tryn to put anyone down by any means just sayn its two different worlds and ifyou ever ate some good walleye or even crappie or perch out of some cold water you would prob not think so much about cats but whatever floats ur boat that what we say good luck to all of you

    if you don't have anything nice to say

    Wow! You must be a really smart fellow Donald, I've heard that Minnesota fish are awfully smart also. I don't usually post comments but reading your post made me sad. I don't fish for catfish either but I don't see the need to criticize or belittle others that do. You should try to just enjoy fishing and let others do the same. Good luck in life, try not to fall out of the boat.

    I appreciate his comment and

    I appreciate his comment and as he said it wasnt meant to belittle anyone unlike you trying to silence free speach just because you were offended by misperception mostly likely because you probably catch crappy...we are tryin to enjoy fishin but drama queens keep getting offended...some how fate will have tou with out the boat haba

    CATFISH..........

    GROWING UP & COMING FROM A FISHING FAMILY I MOSTLY ATE CRAPPIE & SUNFISH (MISSISSIPPI).........WHEN I WAS IN MY 60'S THEY HAD A FAMILY REUNION AT A CORP OF ENGINEERS PARK IN KANSAS.......THEY ONLY FISHED FOR CATFISH......IT TOOK TWO MEN TO CARRY THEM.....HUGE. .....HAD MY FIRST TASTE OF FRESH CATFISH AND WAS ACTUALLY DREADING IT.........HOWEVER, I AM HOOKED AND ALL I CAN SAY IS YUM. ...THAT IS THE ONLY FISH I DESIRE ANYMORE.......STILL EAT OTHER FISH HERE IN THE NORTH..........THEIR LAKES DO NOT SEEM TO HAVE ANY CATFISH & I AM NOT INTO NOODLING TO FIND OUT. WENT TO A PAY AS YOU CATCH PLACE AND CAUGHT A CATFISH..........MY ADVICE......DON'T GO THERE.......TASTE IS NOT WHAT I WAS EXPECTING. WANT TO MOVE BACK DOWN SOUTH, AND GET MY FILL BEFORE I MEET MY MAKER........GRANNY

    catfishing

    you go granny! it isn't always about what fish you catch or the bait. It is about being out on the water and relaxing for us down south. Love fishing whether they biting or not. ENJOY LIFE WHILE WE CAN

    Fishing to catch fish or piece of mind

    I love to fish has always been my favorite pass time. After a day of working hard in the yard no better treat than to go fishing if i catch a fish or two great , if i catch a piece of mind and enjoy the sounds the of different species of frogs and the crickets chirping is what i need for the balance of daily life. I love to fish starting from just before dark into the late night hours. I don't prefer to eat catfish they sure are fun to bring in a fighter that is a charge. Happy fishing to all on the boat, dock, river bed, or the edge of a lake .

    If you don't have anything nice to say

    Thank you for the response to Donald's comment about cat fishing, very well put! I don't like to fish for cat either, but great for those who do and also like to eat them. God bless.

    i never took up fishing until

    i never took up fishing until last summer... Im 33. Odd but true. My best friend (a 66 year old hillbilly good ol boy from west virginia) taught me how to fish. We fish for all kinds but the majority of our fishing is for 3-12 lb channel cats. His house is on a small river in west michigan called the thornapple. I read a lot about what people use for bait and a few mentioned channel cats "almost never bite on live bait"... As the old hillbilly would say.... "Im hear to tell yah!! You can catch any cat you want on raw sucker!" And a year later he couldnt be more right! We recently started using live bluegill and catch them like crazy. But other than worms and bluegill... Raw sucker! If the moon phase is right and they will bite... Its the sure thing. When we fish (5 out of 7 days or nights a week) we know step one is catch a sucker and cut it up. Best part, we catch 4-5 cats per bait because the skin on a sucker is almost impossible to get off the big hooks.

    Anyways... Food for thought guys and gals. And the comment about different areas hold dif names for each kind of cat... Well played. What real fisherman would want anything but good things for a fellow fisherman or woman?! No good can come from slammin someone for what they call a fish. Call it a damn sea otter if thats what you wanna call it!

    Happpy fishin everyone and all the best from david and tommy,
    HILLBILLY HEAVEN, MI

    May God bless you and your

    May God bless you and your hill billy friend from west Virginia! I to am a West Virginia girl who has relocated to the deep south on the mobile bay. I was on this post trying to remember what my grandpa would say about fishing. I'm 31. My son is seven and he just wants to wet a line any chance he gets! My husbands grandpa always had two things in his bathroom: the good book and the farmers almanac. Haha. Both have guided my life.
    Give your hill billy friend a hug from a fellow hill billy. He may be too tough for it... I know how those wv boys are, maybe settle for a quiet nod, short lived eye contact from the low brim of a wvu hat and then directly back to fishing.... That's our quiet way of understanding.

    CATFISH..........

    YOU REALLY MADE ME SET UP AND TAKE NOTICE........BEEN FISHING SINCE I WAS 8......NEVER TASTED CATFISH TILL I WAS IN MY 60'S (KANSAS). ....WE LIVED IN OKLA........(ATE, CRAPPIE, BASS,ETC.), SAME IN MISSISSIPPI, ARKANSAS, & THEN WE MOVED HERE TO MICHIGAN......HOWEVER, NOW I AM CRAVING CATFISH & THOROUGHLY BELIEVED THERE WERE NO KEEPERS IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. NOW YOU HAVE MADE ME START TO DROOL AGAIN AND HOPEFULLY THE ONES YOU CATCH ARE KEEPER SIZE...THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME SET UP AND TAKE NOTICE.

    Read the comments and agree

    Read the comments and agree with most. But my cat fishing advice is to start with good gear, set drag loose and adjust tighter to set the hook. This doesn't alarm the fish. Slip weights on medium line/heavy leader. I use bait holder hooks with barbed back shanks, keeps bait on great. And my absolute #1 bait is chunks of bloody beef liver! It stinks when fresh and stays on with my hardest casts and sometimes I can catch more than one fish per bait. Listen to a Catheadedfool!

    I been fishing the nearby

    I been fishing the nearby reservoir in south central Texas. With the lake going over the spillway and the gates open full blast it's the perfect storm to try anything you ever thought of using. Fighting to get a spot I cast out and boom got a channel cat. Baited back up and though out and boom a miss. This literally went on from 8a.m. to around noonish. Everyone ask what I was using, they acted surprise/shocked when I told them. good old fashion home grown night crawlers, not store bought they wouldn't bite as good.
    DOUGH BAIT recipe-100%. Brand flakes crushed by hand pretty fine add dr. Pepper until able to form a ball. (Works Great On catching huge carp/buffalo.

    DOUGH BAIT works awesome aswell In still water. DOUGH BAIT recipe

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