Fishing Forecast

OK, this is probably a dumb question, but I’m going to ask it anyway. Every morning the local weatherman gives a fishing forecast, which supposedly tells the fishermen what times he can most expect the fish to be biting.

How does the weatherman know when the fish will be biting? Won’t they most likely be biting about the same times each day? Is it related to the moon/tides?



Its based on the moon phases, two times for most days.
Try Googling for a fishing time chart or something similar.

I’ve been interested in this myself, and have only found this:

Which explains that its based on the positions of the sun and moon, but doesn’t actually explain how its based on the sun and moon or why these positions allegedly effect fishing!

Generally, for saltwater fishing, you are supposed to fish the high tide (an hour before and an hour after), at dawn/dusk, and ideally when the high tide occurs at dawn/dusk.

Actually, the moon and sun only have a part in the puzzle One must also factor in time of year, whats running, whats biting what type of lure or live bait etc…etc…

For instance, I can go fishing with friends off my boat in mid august up here off long island and get totally nothing from fishing with lures only…then a month later I could be banging the stripers off the shoals with the same bait, or live bait… shiners only run at certain times of the year…as do eels and other things the fish are eating…so diet plays a huge role in it, and attached to diet is water temp…as some fish can not live in ultra cold or hot water. So in Florida I’d say it was a water temp/moon phase/bait season thing the weather guy is saying…

I was down waaay south of you in Walkers Kay. we were marlin fishing and we caught nothing until 2pm. bright sunlight and the boat clipping along at 25 knots. Not the normal fishing scenerio for someone like me, who is used to cutting the engine and dropping a downrigger or sea rod.

Tide plays a very strong roll in fishing for me here in the Pacific NW. Other factors also come into play though.

What’s the clarity of the water?
Water Temp.?
What about the salinity level at the mouth of the river. If it’s rained recently then the spawning salmon might have started to make their way upstream, when it’s easier for them to smell/taste where they’re going. (they always return to where they were born to spawn)

A lot of lures that I use have to have some water movement to work well, so you can’t anchor during slack (just after a tide, before the water begins to move the other way) tide.

I’ve always found trout fishing in smaller lakes to be better in the morning and evening…

I suppose it really depends on where you’re at and what you’re fishing for.

(I miss saltwater fishing!)

I’m curious about how the moon allegedly affects freshwater fishing (how it affects tides, and hence saltwater fishing, is more obvious). The Lexington sunday paper prints these tables, too, with “ideal times” being at all different times of the day!

In general, it seems wiser to [freshwater] fish:

  1. When it’s not too cold (sluggish fish) or too hot (absent fish), or when it is too cold or too hot, to just fish deeper where the temperature might be more fish-friendly!
  2. When the water is clearer (so fish can see your bait).
  3. When the fish are biting (easier said than done! But experience suggests that dawn/dusk are when they eat).
  4. Right before a storm, when the barometric pressure is dropping.

How tables compare with these mostly empirical observations, I don’t know.

As one who spent summer days fishing at the Jersey Shore, I have found that the main factor of successful fishing is to fish during the top and bottom of the tides…starting half an hour before and ending half an hour after the peak of low and high tides…that is when the water is still and not running in or out.

In the still water, fish have less opportunity to catch prey, so they’re hungrier…and go after your bait.

BTW…fishing is lousy for a few days after a storm…the water is well churned up and needs time to be stilled.

Just to interject one of my Dad’s favorite sayings when asked how the fishing was…

“The fishing was great. It was the catching that didn’t go so well.”


I truly wish I knew the answer to this as well. However, I do know that freshwater and salt are affected similarly. I grew up and still live on the ocean, we have lakes and streams all over us as well. There is something about the light of the moon that brings the fish up at night and makes them stay around even on the cloudy nights.

Check out this thread on the subject…I was feeling rather nostalgic when I wrote it. But it tells of a true phenomenon I have experienced several times on the Jetty’s around my house.