Fishing Calendar for 2020

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

September 8, 2020
Best Days to Fish

When is the best time to go fishing? See the best fishing dates and times 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 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.


Best Fishing Days



1–20, 24–31


1–9. 23–29


1–9, 24–31


1–7, 22–30


1–7, 22–31


1–5, 21–30


1–5, 20–31


1–3, 18–31


1–2, 17–30


1, 16–31





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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    Bluegills like onions!

    Bluegills like onions!



    I used this for years when I

    I used this for years when I used to own horses. We would use it as a bug repellant on the horses and ourselves. Just be sure that you use the original S-S-S scent. There are new versions and I can't vouch that they work as well.

    I would not recomend putting

    I would not recomend putting any kind of insect repellant on your hands before fishing

    An alternative to using

    An alternative to using pantyhose for chicken liver....Is get one of those shower sponges the ruffled puff things work wonders for holding chicken livers..I use about a 2 inch square and put the liver in and tie up with fishing line ill make about 2 dozen before I head out to the water works great....Once unraveled around 4 ft long just cut into strips...Works great

    Instead of Using Chicken

    Instead of Using Chicken Liver (Which is very hard to keep on the Hook) I use Beef or Either Pork Liver,They are alot tougher & stay on the Hook alot Better & Catfish Love It:)

    The best way I've used

    The best way I've used chicken livers is to put them on a treble hook in an old ice cube tray. Freeze them over night and crack the tray like you were getting ice out, they'll thaw slowly so they stay on a long time.

    that was slab crappie

    that was slab crappie

    for slab rappir fish about 18

    for slab rappir fish about 18 inches deep a dime size bobber a bit of power bait a 1/16 split shot and a #12 hook caught ten 1 to 1 3/4 lb yesterday off bank

    catfishing in missouri is

    catfishing in missouri is great right now were using cocktail shrimp



    N O T

    good point!id just aswell eat

    good point!id just aswell eat the shrimp!lol ive had a lot of luck using cheap hotdogs! there a bit tricky to keep on the hook but if you keep em froze its a little easier. i used to have good luck with bacon but thats about the same concept of shrimp! $$$

    In your haste, to post a

    In your haste, to post a snarky reply, you missed the point. They plainly stated that they used shrimp that was going to be thrown out. That would infer that it had gone bad. This would make it very cheap and very stinky. That is a solid combination for catfish bait.

    Not to mention that you use 1

    Not to mention that you use 1 1oz. shrimp to catch a 20= lb. catfish. You did the math all wrong.

    Do the math

    Do the math

    Once again...this implies

    Once again...this implies that you only catch 1-1 pound catfish off 1 bag of shrimp for 7.99. you could catch 1or 2-5 lb, or 1-10 or 20 lb, or more at 3.99 a pound. Do the math before saying anything.

    It is obvious by your

    It is obvious by your statement that you are not a fisherman.

    this implies that you only

    this implies that you only catch 1-1 pound catfish off 1 bag of shrimp for 7.99. you could catch 1or 2-5 lb, or 1-10 or 20 lb, or more at 3.99 a pound. Do the math before saying anything..

    using shrimp given to us by

    using shrimp given to us by grocery store that's going to be thrown away ,in MISSISSIPPI lakes for catfish

    beef liver stays together

    beef liver stays together alot better than chicken liver and they like it just as well

    Just get some Bait Baggies

    Just get some Bait Baggies off ebay or Amazon. You can make baits out of table scraps if you want. They work great for ocean sardine baits too,

    for catching catfish my

    for catching catfish my father told me to use tin foil on a hook and spray it with wd 40 or pam it works

    Best catfish bait I have used

    Best catfish bait I have used I learned about from my wife's grandpa and have fished with it since and the only place I have been able to buy it is at the piggly wiggly and the bait is rooster liver it sucks because I have moved up north and I have-not found anyone that sells it

    Another good bait is just a

    Another good bait is just a piece of clam salted. The salt dries and firms the clam and it stays on forever and the fish love it.

    good for fresh water what

    good for fresh water what about salt water fish

    My Pappy always said and I

    My Pappy always said and I Quote: {If you caught fish everytime you went son, you wouldn't go} I (then a small boy)thought him "full of bull" but now as an old man I have come to see his wisdom! Thanks Dad....

    Wise man your pappy! It

    Wise man your pappy! It keeps me going back come what may!

    if u know what u are doing u

    if u know what u are doing u dont need panty hose to catch your fish i never have used them with my liver..and the rice trick does work ive used this trick and works very well just the mess lol saves u money in the long run

    Use pork or beef liver they

    Use pork or beef liver they are tougher and don't require any of the above tricks

    Done corn chicken liver and

    Done corn chicken liver and any type bug i seen around area§ but one time used the cubed ham from heb in repealable bag and it works great plus U can snack on it to if keep cool:-) oh ya buy a throw net for shad ect