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

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    I beg to differ. My family

    I beg to differ. My family and myself catch chanels on live bait all the time. It's not that thwy aren't predatory. They just aren't as picky.

    This is true to an extent.

    This is true to an extent. All cats at a young age scavenge
    But as they age their diets change to live bait. Yes you can catch all cats on stink baits and livers. But your best chance for the bigger cats is a live or large cut bait. Some are pickier than others. Once they have grown their diets should consist of mainly live fish. Location, gear and presentation are of most importance. Best of luck to all of you.

    First of all a flathead is

    First of all a flathead is the same thing as a mud cat...also called a yellow cat.Second flatheads eat almost exclusively live prey. Blues eat mostly live prey aso but will eat some trash. Channels eat trash and much less live prey. Odd they are the best to eat but they are. This is why you catch channel on stinkbait, liver, etc...never heard of anyone catch in a flathead on danny kings punch bait. There's been a lot caught on trotlines baited with perch though. Some people amaze me with some of the $#%* they come up with

    I'm afraid you may be wrong.

    I'm afraid you may be wrong. I caught a 30lb flat head on a cool cat worm and catch them all the time on liver. I think it depends on the area you are fishing. I am in Mississippi and fish on Ross Barnett Reservoir. I RARELY catch any cat on minnows or any type of FISH bait. Mainly catch them on worms, chicken or beef liver. And catch all different types on these 3 baits.

    your right i think on any

    your right i think on any given day those flatheads bite on all kinds of bait i fish missouri river in ne caught them on hot dogs leftover pork chop canned corn grasshopper i caught a 35 pounder on a very large praying mantis. have caught channel cats on a ripe mullberry so anything goes. there was a mullberry tree at rivers edge dropping ripe ones in the water and wondered if any fish eat those .well i now know channel cats do. well godbless and good luck fishin.

    I'm afraid you have put you

    I'm afraid you have put you boot in your mouth. A flathead is not a Mud cat. Mud cat do not grow big at all. And flatheads are huge. I'm pretty sure that you are an idiot.

    Mud cat is simply a secondary

    Mud cat is simply a secondary name for chanel cat. Look it up. You're all idiots

    I've also had a lot of people

    I've also had a lot of people tell me you can't catch blue cats or flatheads without live bait. That's bogus information. Last summer I caught a 20lb flathead and just last week caught a 12lb blue. Both on stink bait

    bait for catfish

    My husbands uncle taught us how to make stink bait years ago he would be catching them as fast as he could get them off the hook. He used Long Horn cheddar cheese and cow brains, This stuff is really potent. He welded a old beater from an old hand held mixer to a piece of rod metal that would fit into the mixer he put equal cheese and cow brains. we used an old pot and mixed these together and covered with cheese cloth and left it outside to ferment for about a week. Then we put the mixture in quart jars . the longer you kept it the better it was. Make sure you keep a tight lid on it, if you don't the flies will blow it and ruin your bait. after it has set for a week it is ready. we got a sponge from a store that has sea sponge you need this one it holds the bait really well, cut sponge about the size of a quarter put it on the hook and hide your sponge. wet your sponge in water you're fishing in squeeze out the water. put it in the jar and use a stick or something to make sure it is completely soaked in the mixture. this works best in running water river or creek. it will work in ponds also but not as well as the other. We always catch a ton of fish with this stuff. whatever you do don't get this stuff on you or your clothes because he smell will stay on you forever. my brother went fishing with my husband and I in mid February and when I cast out it hit him is the back, his wife threw his shirt away and made him scrub down out in the cold.!! This is better than anything they sell , you will catch all you want that's for sure! Good Luck!

    Homemade catfish food

    I forgot we live in Texas, down on the Coast and go fishing in East Texas and rivers in the south. Plenty Of Big Cats From Blue Channel Which We Love To Fish For to Big Yellow Cats. Mud catfish gets their name from the way they taste They have a strong taste and aren't that good to eat.

    Here in Florida a mud cat has

    Here in Florida a mud cat has very sharp, big teeth. Do not, and I repeat, do not put your hand in their mouth.

    Growing up in Fl just below

    Growing up in Fl just below the Okefenokee swamp, mud cats are nothing close to flatheads, channel, or blues. They may get up to a lb. I've stuck my finger in thousands of their throats to get my hook back and never wore a scare. I'm sorry but those that think different, I'm willing to take ya catchin' to prove it.

    Blue and flats have small

    Blue and flats have small needle like teeth but nothing like Gars or Bass

    Could it be possible that

    Could it be possible that nobody is wrong at all, with regards to which correct cat name is which. In fact, everyone could be right - meaning that what is known to be a mud cat over at that certain place; small in size and weight, might very well be the same fish, just goes by a different l'il ole name, that's all.
    For instance, I'm from Polk County, FL, not all that far from the Okeechobee area, and our mud cats are far from being anything small! And we call 'em "mud fish". And let me tell you something, that fish right there will give you a fight if you are willing or able to bring it in. And mean mean mean! And they have a mouth full of sharp teeth that will chomp down on anything that happens to make it's way in. And the mud fish around here can get up to enormous proportions.

    That was so not nice to call

    That was so not nice to call someone an idiot. If you can't be nice...don't play and go home. The rest of us don't need your smart remarks. I feel sorry for you. Seems what you called this person describes you!

    Yes sir a place called lake

    Yes sir a place called lake lime stone go to the marina and get some worms throw it in the water it never fails foor good channel cat

    Go south to San Antonio and

    Go south to San Antonio and go to calaveris lake if you can get to the wall .just ask anyone out there. Bring head on shrimp and use a slip rig. And hold on the big reds will bite. Great time

    You're living near Bastrop

    You're living near Bastrop Lake which is a Great Lake for bass, catfish, and crappie. Here's a link to lakes in Texas . I live in Pasadena, Texas which isn't too far from Bastrop. I've fished Bastrop several times. Great Lake.

    The link is

    The link is good place to find out information about Texas fishing and other things.

    The fact of the matter is

    The fact of the matter is that game fish eat other fish, I use hand size bream as bait to catch 50lbs + catfish and wall hanging bass. Use their natural food source and ya can't go wrong. May your stringers & live wells stay loaded, good luck.

    That's best advice I have

    That's best advice I have read in any of the post. Use their natural food source and ya can't go wrong. One thing I would add is the bigger the bait the bigger the fish. Fish on!

    Take chicken liver put a

    Take chicken liver put a little annison oil with it and wrap your liver with sewing machine thread around it to stay on works every time I have caught 25#ers

    The best way to keep liver

    The best way to keep liver bait on the hook is to get some Bait Baggies off ebay, You can make some awesome baits with them. Hope they come out in stores soon but right now I just see them on ebay. No hassles or problems. You can make up your baits before you go fishing, let them season a few days if you want. I've made liver baits and sardine baits and cheese baits, They are the way to go for bait fishermen. I'll never use anything else.

    I neverheard so many catyfish

    I neverheard so many catyfish stories in my life,they`re just bottomfeed`n sh-tfish if ya all want to know! What ya need to do is try using lures or worms,and catch somereal FISH,i.e.(trout,walleye,whitefish,yellow perch etc.etc. Uppermichigan Uper!

    Stay up North Yankee.

    Stay up North Yankee.

    Someone is a sore loser!!!!

    Someone is a sore loser!!!! Yankees fishing in Maine has been awesome this year!!!

    amen to the northern fishing.

    amen to the northern fishing. dont forget a bunch oc crappie blue gills and smelt are tasty also

    If u really want to know they

    If u really want to know they are just like any other fish. If they pass by it they will eat it. On a stripper trip fishing @ 38 feet in 64 foot of water we caught catfish right along side of strippers... An we were no where near the bottom of the lake.Yankees trying to tell southern men bout fishing haa.

    I do agree that your fish

    I do agree that your fish preferences are impressive. i used to live in michigan as a kid and learned to love fishing there. However. i now live in California an we must adapt. We have Salmon,Perch,Striper,steal head,shad,trout of numerous types , crappie and the list goes on. We also have catfish. while I agree that the bull heads are bottom feeders, the channel cats are predators and one of the finest eating fish in the world. Best fishing to you my friend.

    Perch a real fish your real

    Perch a real fish your real fish don't grow nearly as large repping a 97lb blue cat out of tuttle creek Kansas with a whole duck in its stomach real fish please