Determine the best time to fish by paying close attention to weather trends in the area; weather affects the temperature of water, which in turn affects whether fish tend to congregate and feed in a given area. Other factors, such as the level of sunlight and wind, also influence fish behavior. Fish are cold-blooded and are entirely dependent on the water to keep them warm.
Fishing during the late morning and mid-to-late afternoon is likely to produce the best results. In the late morning, the sun has warmed up the water, enticing fish to come closer to the surface. Afternoon fishing works because many fish have an increased appetite as the day progresses.
The season also influences fishing opportunities. In the Northern Hemisphere, fall fishing works well because fish are trying to eat extra food in preparation for winter. During the summer, midday fishing is usually not ideal because the top layer of the water is too warm, causing most fish to swim too far below the surface for effective fishing.
For saltwater fishing, take the tides into account. Tidal motions carry bait and entice fish to follow. Tides are different everywhere, so consult a chart beforehand when planning your fishing trip.