Fishing Calendar for 2021

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

January 1, 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

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    Chris Payne`s idea for liver

    Chris Payne`s idea for liver in the ice tray was a very good one...another trick is to take the liver out of it`s container,and place them on a dry surface such as a board or concrete until they become kind of firm.
    They will then stay on the hook very well.
    Billy Ray Malpass

    these are all great ways to

    these are all great ways to keep liver on your line.But here in Ga.we use old pantyhose from your mother or wife just take and wrap around the hook with liver on it.You can cast it in and out without loosing it.Good luck

    haha here in ohio we use that

    haha here in ohio we use that too, my grandpa taught my daddy that trick who taught my brother who is now teaching me(= good idea very efficient.we also found that nightcrawlers and chicken nuggets work too.

    just don't use the pantyhose

    just don't use the pantyhose if their still in them

    I'd say that kinda depends on

    I'd say that kinda depends on how much you dislike the person wearin' 'em.

    Hey now, I like the idea of

    Hey now, I like the idea of them still wearing them. Two hands for grabbin. Ha Ha. I do the same. Panty hose works great.

    In Arkansas the Game and Fish

    In Arkansas the Game and Fish outlawed the use of pantyhose due to fish not being able to digest them. Fish will die if you don't catch them.

    The fish is going to die if i

    The fish is going to die if i do catch it, he is danged if i do, and danged if i don't

    Can a bass digest a 4oz

    Can a bass digest a 4oz lunker lure ? How about the plastic rigs used for sqeeze baits ? When I was a kid, i had a Redbone hound pass a complete dishrag. I have seen large car parts from the inside of Sharks while caught alive. This ban sounds like a new way to make money by fines if you get caught. What's next? How about a bad shot on a deer by bullet or arrow? ban bullets and arrows? Trapping, check your trap and have only a leg,animal going to live or die? Come on now, you can catch and chop up a fish, usually alive and use it for bait, but pantyhose may kill one if you don't catch it? Brilliant thinking, I bet some state lawmakers made and spent big money thinking this up. When a pair of pantyhose are no longer wearable, what are they good for? What is the lifespan for pantyhose? Like I said earlier,make the pantyhose biodegradable, landfills and fishermen happy.

    thats how we do it in SC...

    thats how we do it in SC... pantyhose comes in handy alot on our fishing trips

    Fishermen /women beware, some

    Fishermen /women beware, some states have outlawed using pantyhose, due to the fact, if the fish gets loose with the pantyhose, it will die, because it cannot digest the pantyhose.

    This is true. I almost died

    This is true. I almost died eating a chunk of panty hose myself one night.





    We started using simple

    We started using simple sewing thread. Set a few peices of your liver out and let it become a little dry/firm, you know it kinda forms a skin on it. Snatch you off a peice of thread 12 - 15 inches long, maybe more if you like. Put your liver on the hook as normal then tie it to the hook by wrapping the thread around and around being sure to cover all angles and cautious not to pull too tight pulling through the liver. Normally even after loosing your bait from the fish biting, the string stays on the hook. Sometimes you can use the same peice a couple times and it is less harmfull to the fish. We keep a couple cheap spools in the tackle box aand use the finger off an old stretchable glove as a cover to keep it tidy and not tangled in everything else. Happy Fishing, hope this tip helps.

    I have used this surgery

    I have used this surgery Alastic net tube u tie it in some spots of the tube put in chicken liver and it will stay on the hook all day catfish here in Illinois love it and can catch any type of cat here with it all day long.

    Panty hose are horrible for

    Panty hose are horrible for the fish, its a terrible idea and illegal in most states, panty hose do not break down, a broken line usually leads to a dead fish.. Not a very good plan if you want your children to fish the same lakes your fishing today.

    If a fish can pass a shell of

    If a fish can pass a shell of a crab or mollusk then it can pass panty hose.

    no panty hose,just keep

    no panty hose,just keep trowing all that lead in there. Any new homes being built around your fishing area is great also.We had a large fish kill from subdivisions being built, the termite treatment in the ground made it to the lakes after a few rains.It took them a little while to figure that one out.Also lets not build anymore piers from the chemical treated lumber. Come on now, a small patch of panty hose in the Tennessee river? You are probably one of those persons, i mean peta persons that want to ban fishing anyway, hooking them in the lips is cruel. Broken line ? maybe , but im after the big ones, I use 50lb line, haven't broken it yet. Get rich, invent biodegradable panty hose,or build small wire basket, put liver inside, with hook on outside,made onto basket. If line breaks, fish will look better with basket on his face, and probably won't die. Lets keep it real with whats trashing our waterways.

    here in alabama same way

    here in alabama same way nothing like good ole panty hose

    There was a man once that

    There was a man once that told my mom and step dad about the pantyhose. They showed me and I tried it. It really does work great. A lot of times you can reuse the liver for another fish because it is still on your hook when you take it out of the first fishes mouth. Have fun trying it I have caught lots of catfish with this idea.

    Best thing for losing your

    Best thing for losing your chicken liver is sawing thred put your liver on,hold one inch of thred at eye of hook,just rap around several times till it holds.

    A hint I got from a very good

    A hint I got from a very good source (a well known tv fishing personality) was to put the chicken liver in cut up panty hose and tie it on the line.

    The best way is to find a

    The best way is to find a bait store that sales Rooster livers. The roosters liver is harvested after 6 yrs , where the hens are harvested after only a year. Rooster livers may cost a couple more bucks but they are really tough and wont sling off ur hook . Just cast away!!

    Protect your fishing reel by

    Protect your fishing reel by storing it in an old sock.

    I have been using those

    I have been using those purple Crown Royal bags with drawstrings for years.
    My personal upgrade from socks.
    The key is to find people that drink the stuff.

    Put rice grains in your

    Catherine Boeckmann's picture

    Put rice grains in your fishing tackle box to absorb moisture and prevent rusty hooks.

    Awesome Idea

    Awesome Idea

    no it wasnt who wants rice in

    no it wasnt who wants rice in their tacklebox?

    She is not suggesting you

    She is not suggesting you pour a box of loose rice in your tackle box! You can even tie it up in a small piece of nylon and put it at the back on the very bottom out of the way. Works great for real humid areas too.