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

    Leave a Comment

    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.


    Gotta try the Pro cure Gel in Bloody tuna scent over a chunk of mackerel. Canned mackerel is fine if u cannot find fresh. The canned stuff needs a bit of thread to tie it on but christ it's almost unfair. I have a good friend who commercial fishes cats and he showed me the combo. Its worked in 22 states with incredible results.

    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


    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 and Bass bait

    A absolute works every time bait for eater catfish is to crush some garlic and take the juice and put it in a baggie, then roll small dime size balls of white bread and let them soak in the baggie great bait. For bass my go to is a Arkie Jigs blue and black pitching jig with a blue crawfish soft plastic as a trailer


    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)


    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.


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


    this is fishing

    Florida saltwater

    Florida saltwater


    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 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.


    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.


    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


    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

    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.