Fishing Calendar for 2020

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

July 30, 2020
Best Days to Fish

When is the best time to go fishing? See the best fishing dates and times from The 2020 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 2020

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

2020

January

1–20, 24–31

February

1–9. 23–29

March

1–9, 24–31

April

1–7, 22–30

May

1–7, 22–31

June

1–5, 21–30

July

1–5, 20–31

August

1–3, 18–31

September

1–2, 17–30

October

1, 16–31

November

15–30

December

14–29

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 2020 Old Farmer's Almanac

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    Reader Comments

    Leave a Comment

    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

    Here in WV catfish will bite

    Here in WV catfish will bite anything. When we were young, my cousin and I ran out of bait. She took the chewing gum out of her mouth and put it on the hook....caught a big cat. The bass bite on what they are used to eating. Meal worms catch bluegill and the bluegill bring the big bass. I'm speaking of farm ponds.

    I have found using McDonalds

    I have found using McDonalds french fries and chunks of their filet -o- fish sandwich's will really get a good bite going. Just toss them in the water out in front of you and catch all you want.

    I've found that the best way

    I've found that the best way to keep liver on your hook is, take a piece of "new" panty hose, put the liver in it, and put it on the hook. Happy fishing!!!

    This practice is not legal in

    This practice is not legal in most states. Panty hose is not biodegradable and can kill off uncaught fish

    pantyhose on fise

    Then tell them not to wear it.

    Just use a 6 inch piece of

    Just use a 6 inch piece of braided line or thread wrap around just below eye of hook then wrap around your liver ..you can throw it as hard as you want wont come off

    Elastic thread is best just

    Elastic thread is best just wrap it around hook and bait then rip off no need to tie

    I live in lacrosse Wisconsin

    I live in lacrosse Wisconsin and have been fishing my whole life. Honestly the best catfishing I have ever done was in the dead of such.her at the Chippewa flowage in Hayward wi all I use is a whole night crawler on bottom let it sit and sure enough they will be caught. At the moment itsvery cloudy and rained last night and I still can't sit at home without thinking about going out. What is the best bait for raining over cloud days?

    Deer hunters.... Deer liver

    Deer hunters.... Deer liver and hearts (if You dont eat um) works great for cat fish.

    Retired and moving back home

    Retired and moving back home to northwest Louisiana. Where are some great fishing places? Decided to fish and enjoy my grands and great grands

    I've caught catfish out of

    I've caught catfish out of the Beach River with Texas rig spinner baits. Also dough balls made with lots of vanilla extract works very well.

    I have used lantern mantels

    I have used lantern mantels for tieing on liver and dough bait.also in ariz. I used hotdogs worked real good

    In central Texas, I have

    In central Texas, I have found the Live Helga bugs found under rocks, on creek banks works exceptionally well for cat fishing. Don't tell Allen I gave up our fishing secret.

    I have seen the cat fishing

    I have seen the cat fishing suggestions and have one more for liver. I tie it on the hook and line with thin elastic thread and have for year's. Adapted from ocean fishing. I can then cast it as far as I can and have no problem getting fish also. Also shrimp work well too.

    We LOVE to fish, throwing our

    We LOVE to fish, throwing our poles into any body of water, along shores.
    Live in central Oklahoma. My Dad, his Dad before him, all were Commercial Fishermen, from WA. state, spending long months in Alaska, the Bering Seas. My Dad was from Norway, I am very proud to be a Norwegian. Just as he loved fishing, his 'little girl' grew up, also loved to fish. (Catching is another story, LOL)

    As a child, I often stayed on the boat, until it reached the Ballard Locks. The Locks Guard, would lift me off the boat, walking me across, the closed gateway.

    I stood crying, waving "bye, bye" as my Dad's boat, was lowered down, then heading for Alaska. Sweet memories!

    Love to fish for catfish love

    Love to fish for catfish love the fight they put up now just need some help I've been hearing that catfish love shrimp now here we go do I use garlic or plain shrimp my buddy told Me to keep in mind that garlic for everything is that true?

    I use shrimp and do not put

    I use shrimp and do not put anything on them. I have fished for 60 years and have always used large plain shrimp. I caught one using a hot dog too. Good luck fishing.

    Isnt it hard to justify using

    Isnt it hard to justify using something that costs $7 a pound, to catch something that costs $3 a pound?

    No it's not hard to justify

    No it's not hard to justify using a bait that cost $7 per pound, while trying to catch a fish worth $3 per pound. How many $3 per pound fish can you catch using simply $7 for 1 pound of bait? If you only manage to catch 1 fish that's 3 pounds it's paid for right? Besides, maybe the enjoyment of fishing doesn't have a price tag.

    I love to fish for catfish to

    I love to fish for catfish to they give you a fight.

    I live in Pemberton B.C.

    I live in Pemberton B.C. canada My sister caught a massive Trout ice fishing and she put a shrimp on a Coleman lantern to cook for a minute.Then she put shrimp on hook and minutes later caught a awesome trout!!

    The 26 of July a Buddie of

    The 26 of July a Buddie of mine and I went fishing on a lake not a big one but a good size took a boat out fished all day. We used everthing we had to catch something. But we only caught 4 bass only 14 inches long and 4 small blue gill. So we was there till 3 that afternoon. So we said screw this so we went to a pond by 4 and was catching everything in the world bass, crappie, blue gill and catfish. Now someone explain that to me. Went to a good size lake full of fish for 7 hours barley caught something then went to a pond that gets feed from stuff falling from the fields from rain. Was there maybe hour and caught a shit load of fish. I can't figure it out please help.

    i use chicken guts all of

    i use chicken guts all of them rite out of the chicken when you butcher your chicken save them let them sit in sun all day boy will you catch some cat fish very very stinky

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