2 men fishing a the beach


If you want to catch more fish, apart from knowing where to find fish you need to think about when to fish. Some of the best times to fish are actually related to the amount of sunlight available, the temperature trends, weather patterns, tidal flows and even the wind.

The best times when to fish are also influenced by where to fish. That means that different locations can and will have better times to fish. So where to fish and when to fish are closely intertwined. For example, a string of hot days can reduce the amount of oxygen in the water for a particular region and reduce the amount of fish that want that habitat, and therefore reducing the amount of fish that are biting. Some when to fish factors change daily and some when to fish factors change over a season. You’ll have a lot of fun working them out, and that’s crucial because not everyone likes to share their best fishing spots, especially when the fish are biting.

Here is a look at some of those factors and why they influence when to go fishing in those locations…


The wind can and will often influence how successful your fishing trip will be. There are a number of reasons why this is the case. For example, the wind can push bait to the far shore. If you are fishing from the shore on a windy day, you are best to find a location where you can cast into the wind. If you are fishing on a boat, it is best to find a sheltered shore and cast into the wind.

Storms affect fishing because fish are greatly influenced by barometric conditions. You will find that many fish tend to feed more before a cold front they will slow down after a storm arrives. If a cold front is on the way, it’s normally a good time to fish until it arrives. After which, the same location probably won’t be good for fishing for a few days.

Warm fronts cause the surface temperatures to rise, causing fish to enter a feeding mode. This is particularly the case during the colder months of the year as sluggish fish will take advantage of the warmer temperatures. You will find most of the activity towards the surface of the water.

Cloudy days are generally good for fishing because clouds reduce the amount of light penetration. For example, when the sunlight is bright, fish will tend to hide under cover. On cloudy days, fish are normally out cruising looking for their prey.

Rain is often a good time to fish because we are more difficult to see. The rain scatters light the fish can see, and that includes the view of us – true for just about all types of fishing. Rain also causes changes in the amount of food available for fish. For example, there will be more insects and bait available for fish. This is especially the case with warmer rains, which raise the ambient temperatures of the water for short periods.

All that being said, really hard rain can make it very hard to catch fish because they cannot find your bait or fishing lures. Really hard rain can also muddy water with heavy runoff that the fish don’t like at all because it can clog their gills.


Tides play a big part in saltwater and brackish water fishing. As water levels change, the areas available for fish feed change also. For example, a mud bank you can see at low tide might be a very good spot to fish during high tide. Another situation may be a depression in the bottom may be a very good place to fish during a low tide and would probably be a difficult place to fish during high tide. The changing or running of tides cause bait and prey fish to move about, which causes fish that are chasing them to move also – the big reason why the changing of tides is a good time to fish.

Brackish water tides are found in coastal areas where saltwater and freshwater mix, in estuaries for example. Brackish water can be found in tidal creeks and rivers along the coast.

There are still more factors, like the time of year, when the fish spawn and simply the location that influence the best time to fish. The only way to really know is to get out there and make it happen. I hope my tips here will help you to find more fish.

Do you have some tips regarding when to go fishing to catch more fish? Share your experience through the comments section below.

Peter Hollingsworth

Peter has been fishing all around Australia since he was a boy. He loves camping, fishing and kayak fishing.