Recreational fishing and sportfishing communities across the world are witnessing a steady rise in their popularity. United Nations' estimates show that the number of recreational fishers, or anglers commonly referred to, can go as high as 700 million. Another estimate suggests that the volume of fishing rod sales by 2020 will reach nearly 12 million worldwide. These fishing rods account for almost 30% of the sportfishing industry across the globe.
New anglers joining the global community of recreational fishing have questions that we can answer. One of the most frequently asked questions is, what is the best time to go fishing? Well, the best time to go fishing is when you can! But, it won't harm you to know some tricks of the trade beforehand. Some factors play a role in making a fishing expedition more successful than the less-informed ones.
Moreover, there are tools available online that help to know more about these factors. Knowing how to leverage these tools increases your odds. Improved knowledge about the weather, the tides, and the solunar always makes an angler more confident. Before delving deeper into the online tools available, we will look into how these parameters affect fishing.
How Weather Affects Fishing?
Three significant aspects of weather that impact fishing include the water's temperature, the nature of the wind, and the barometric pressure.
Since most of the fishes are cold-blooded, their speed slows down in colder waters. Fewer movements make them intake fewer foods to support themselves in the colder weather. Contrastingly, in warmer waters, the fishes are generally more active and need more food to survive. Fishes utilize dissolved oxygen to breathe. More frigid waters have more dissolved oxygen compared to warmer waters.
Changes in the weather bring changes in the water temperature, especially the rainfall. Fresh rain pouring into the waterbody can drastically change the temperature of the water. Rainfall impacts the salinity of the water. It also affects its clarity or turbidity and the volume of nutrients that go into the water.
Another aspect of the weather that impacts the way fishes behave is the wind. Winds make waves, and waves increase the turbidity and clarity of the water. Waves also pull nutrients along with them. These changes impact the fishes' population in a particular area in the waterbody and determine how they will behave.
Changes in the weather, especially in the wind's speed, bring changes in the atmospheric pressure or the barometric pressure. Species of fish like Trout, Grouper, Snapper, and Tarpon, who have larger swim bladders, are more sensitive to air pressure changes. A drop in barometric pressure indicates imminent colder weather, while a rise in the pressure implies improved weather and clearer skies.
How the Tides Impact Fishing?
Tides directly influence the feeding cycles of the fishes. During the flood tide, the fishes tend to cling on to the coastal areas to feed themselves on tiny organisms with fresh water that they man not be able to reach when the water is low. Similarly, the fishes often feed themselves on the tail-end of the ebb tide.
Tides also dictate deep-sea fishing. Tidal movements in the water create small whirlpools at places that push deeper nutrient-rich water to the surface. Flowing water helps get fish movin therefore more opportunity presents itself.
How the Solunar Impacts Fishing?
The solunar theory is seen as a precursor of the tidal waves. It proposes that the combined gravitational forces of the Sun and the Moon create tides. Many nearshore varieties of fishes choose substantial lunar periods so that they can leverage the tidal flows to carry their eggs to convenient locations for incubation and hatching of their eggs. Moon phases have a significant impact on fishing as well. Science suggests four significant lunar periods that we should observe closely - new moon, first quarter, full moon, and last quarter. I tend to find that most of my best fishing days fall on or around the new moon and full moon. It's no coincidence because if you pay attention to those days, we have the most water movement and the largest tides.
The moons also predict the best feed times. Ancient Indians have used the moon for centuries to calculate optimal hunting periods; minor feeding times occur at moonrises and moonset. Significant feeding periods occur at the moon over and the moon under. Feeding periods are enhanced during solunar periods when the Sun and Moon agree.
Now that we know how different atmospheric variants impact fishing exercises, the next obvious question is, how do we get to know about these variants beforehand? There are online tools available that help you know everything about these parameters in their minutest details and much more.
A Helpful FREE Fishing Online Tool
Tides4Fishing.com is an end-to-end live repository of all the information you need for a successful attempt in fishing.
Location Deep Dive
The website is segmented as per geography. For each continent, you can get deep-dives for the specific fishing locations within each state. For instance, you can choose North America's continent first, select the United States as a country, and then select any state within the country you want to go fishing. Now, if you choose Florida as a state, you can access a whole range of fishing locations that include Cumberland Sound, Nassau Sound, and Fort George River, St. Johns River, East Coast, etc. The granularity does not stop here! For example, even within Cumberland Sound, you will get specific location details for Crandall, Little St. Mary's River, Kings Ferry, Chester, Roses Bluff, and many more.
Such in-depth segmentation of locations helps you to get the perfect data for your exact fishing location. Now that you have chosen the ideal place for fishing, it's time to dig deeper into the location's atmospherics.
All Parameters Included
The tides4fishing.com chart for your exact location would show you all the crucial weather parameters you want to see. It includes details on the speed and directionality of the wind, the current temperature, along with the range of maximum and minimum, the percentage humidity in the air along with the dew point temperature, and the visibility in terms of the distance you can see with bare eyes.
Then comes details on the air pressure. The tool doesn't only give you the value of the air pressure, but it also explains what such an air pressure implies for your fishing activity.
The air pressure condition is shown in the tool across three levels: rising, stable, and falling. The website also makes it clear that a rising trend in pressure is favorable for fishing. A steady trend suggests carrying out normal fishing activities, and a falling trend in air pressure, although good at the beginning, implies imminent deterioration. This website is great for pre-front and post front fishing planning.
Another vital aspect of the weather that, if overlooked, can cause serious harm to our body is the UV level. The tool has a UV index, which lets you know the current UV level. However, it does not stop at only informing you about the level. It explains which level means what and suggests what you should wear to protect yourself from getting burnt.
For instance, if the UV index stays within 2, the tool suggests no protection is needed. For UV levels between 3 and 7, the tool suggests protection. If the UV level goes above 8, the recommendation calls for extra protection. It also makes detailed suggestions about what one should wear and what levels of SPF creams one should wear for a certain UV level. Be sure to suit up with your favorite Salty Scales performance fishing shirt for style, comfort, and the ultimate sun protection.
The tool also provides you with details on the water temperature for almost every two-hour intervals. It equips you with information on the waves as well. Large swells can often prove detrimental for your trip, especially if you are trying to cross a large body of water. The tool provides details relating to the direction of the wave, the speed of the wind driving the wave, the wave's height, and the time each wave takes to form and eventually break down.
The tool also gives you details regarding the sunrise and sunset times. It provides the tidal table for each day. This tidal table comes with a lot of additional information other than the timing of the high tide and the low tide. It equips you with the knowledge of tidal coefficients and tidal amplitudes. These sorts of expertise help you gauge the tidal current's strength, the maximum height that a tidal wave can reach, and many such things beforehand.
Generally, an hour before and after the high tide is a good time for fishing. The tool provides details on such conducive fishing times graphically. Apart from the daily data, the tool also provides you with a monthly tide chart, with detailed timings for 1st tide, 2nd tide, 3rd tide, and 4th tide. Such monthly charts come in extremely handy for planning a fishing trip. The chart predicts days explicitly in the month that could prove as good fishing days.
The tool also has details on the rising and setting time of the moon. According to the lunar positions in the day, the device can predict major and minor periods for fishing. It lets you know the full moon or new moon days in the month beforehand. These are days when you can expect the maximum availability of fishes as, on these days, the combined gravitational force of the Sun and the moon is at its peak.
With so much information at your disposal, it would be rather unwise not to use them to your advantage. We often attribute good fishing days to luck. But, tools like Tides4Fishing help you analyze what went correct that day, and if you get to know on which days those conditions have the highest chance of repeating themselves, you will be lucky each time you go fishing.