Fishing Calendar for 2021

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

August 10, 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

    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 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

    From your comment you said

    From your comment you said you were fishing 7 hrs until 3pm and hit the pond after that.My guess and all the others may know better was you hit the pond at or right before sundown at feeding time or with a smaller stocked pond? either way congrats on the great fishing.

    my dad showed me to just to

    my dad showed me to just to use a treble hook with sun dried chicken liver or stink bait kinda like peanut butter and make a ball to cover the entire hook add a barrel sinker and a swivel about 3' about that and sink it to the bottom ,give it some slack so the bait floats above the weight.But that worked in kansas but now I'm in Washington State where trout,steelhead,salmon and sturgeon are the most caught.My choice is channel cat and steelhead but need some help to find those channel cats here.Anyone?

    Go to milford! I moved to

    Go to milford! I moved to ohio and can't get cats nearly like back home

    Well Buffalo c I can give u

    Well Buffalo c I can give u this pointer that might come in handy for u to ur question here's ur sender when ur fishing a big lake 9-10 slot of ppeople fished there with the bait ur using so the best thing to do is use two baits maybe three and when u go from one spot to the next always trow out two kinds see witch one gets a bite and with u at a pond and catching all though fish may No one fished there awhile so ur bait was what they wanted bc. They were Hungary.

    Well think about it these

    Well think about it these fish in a pond are confined not a very good food source so they are hungrie than a fish in a lake. Pond fishing is the best, im from arkansa and now in cali .