When you want to maximize the number of fish you are hooking, choosing the right time of day for your trip can have a significant impact on how fish are biting. The general answer is in the two hours after sunrise and the two hours before sunset, but these are only guidelines. In reality, the seasons, weather, moon phases, and tides will influence fish activity, as will the type of fish and method you are using.
Knowing the basic fishing times by season and species is the best place to start from when planning your next trip. Then you can consider additional factors to determine the best time to head out onto the water.
When to Fish Depending on Season
As seasons change, water temperatures will vary significantly. Changing daylight hours, water temperatures, feeding times, and spawning will cause fish to be active at different times:
- Winter – Shorter days and cooler temperatures reduce fishing hours. Mid-morning and late afternoon are generally the best time since waters are warmer. Nighttime is a possibility depending on the moon.
- Spring – Early spring has the same fishing hours as the winter, but those move closer to dawn and dusk as the weather gets warmer.
- Summer – In the summer, the best times are just after sunrise and just before sunset. Fish also tend to be more active at nighttime.
- Fall – Fishing times move a little later in the morning and earlier in the evening as the fish try to eat as much as possible to get them through the winter.
When you have seasonal weather, fishing right before it starts raining or snowing is often best, and while it is raining and snowing as long as conditions are not too severe.
When to Fish Depending on Species
Different fish are also more active at certain times. For some of the most popular fish for anglers in NYC, the best times include:
- Striped Bass – Bass have good low light vision and prefer cooler waters, so you will find them most active just after sunrise and just before sunset.
- Ling – Lingcod bite all day long, and are a good fish for nighttime fishing as well.
- Blackfish – Blackfish only feed during the daytime, and dawn and dusk are the peak of their feeding times.
- Porgies – Depending on the season, porgies will bite during both the day and nighttime.
- Cod – During the morning hours, cod will be in shallower water before moving out to deeper water at night.
Fishing for blackfish, ling, striped bass, and cod in saltwater or estuaries bring even more variables since they are far larger and not bounded like a lake or river. You have far more variables to deal with the further you get from shore.
With all these variables to consider, Marilyn Jean Fishing can make it easy to schedule fishing trips at the right time of day. We run daily fishing trips and are experts on the local conditions. We have built our schedule around the times when fish are more active to help you achieve the best possible catch. Browse our fishing schedule and book your trip now.