Every angler has an angle on when is the best time to go fishing.
Fish stories abound and anglers at all levels of involvement have a stable of favorite lures, pet presentations, gear preferences and countless other considerations adhered to as something like secular gospel.
But choosing the best time to catch the most fish remains a major mystery for fisher folk.
Experts have forever touted change of light periods as the best times to be on the water with lures in place and at the ready. For decades, outdoors TV and magazine producers have opted for the early morning being better for the bite. Many a lens had to be adjusted to dim-light settings so that first-light catches could be caught on camera. Countless magazine columns had cold- and warm-water fish species alike most active from false dawn until direct sunlight penetrated weed edges and shoreline structures each morning, slowing movements of baitfish, nymphs and other forage creatures.
Now comes a report from FishBrain, a mobile app producer, of data from its 80,000 users; they logged 40,000 fishing-session reports on their outings.
Locations varied, but the consensus indicated that it was better to fish evenings. On average, the FishBrain system registered the most catches per hour during evenings. To download this free app produced at a headquarters in Sweden, go to fishbrain.com/app.
Curiously, the survey does not indicate when anglers are most free to fish and catch fish. Many a monster musky struck at midday; buckets of perch were filled by mid-morning; pike and bass often move out of weeds at all hours of the day.
The Solar-Lunar Table printed on this page offers different peak periods at all times of the day and the night each week. Surveys provide solid data and some direction, but decades ago Babe Winkelman gave the best answer to the question of when would be the best time to go fishing. Winkelman’s reply was simply, “Whenever you can.”