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101: Night vs. Day & Astronomy

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Night vs. Day & Astronomy

Are there certain times of day when certain fish respond better than other times?  How does night fishing and mid-day fishing compare to morning and evening fishing?

Generally speaking, early morning and late evening are the better times to fish for predator fish such as Bass and Crappie.  This is so because of the low light conditions that are prevailing during these times.

There is enough for the predator fish to zero in on their prey but not so much light that the prey can easily spot the predators.  The predators can get much closer to the prey without being readily detected.

 Of course, the times of the year can come into play here such as during periods of the seasons when the water is cooler like early spring, late fall and winter.  The bite during these times normally can be better after the sun is up and has warmed the water up.  In turn, it raises the fish's metabolism and makes them more active.

Normally the better night fishing is during the heat of the summer, such as July or August.  The cooler night temperatures (which can cool the water temps some) can act as a catalyst to bring the fish out of their sluggishness induced by the high water temperatures (lack of oxygen).

Smallmouth are a perfect example of this.  They are notoriously noted to be night feeders during the warm weather months.  Also night time in the summer months tends to bring out zillions of insects.  This is also the time of day that the willow flies hatch, providing a big food supply to the fish that is readily available for the taking.


Does astronomy play a significant role in fishing patterns? (moon phases, moon rise/set, etc.)

I certainly believe it plays a significant role when fishing salt water (tidal waters) but Ky/Barkley lakes are not tidal waters.  I certainly believe that water conditions and weather play such a significant role in freshwater fishing that they over ride astronomical effects.

However, it should be noted here that fish ready to spawn tend to spawn in more numbers during a full moon.  Also crayfish mate and hatch around the time of the full moon. This provides a short-lived food supply for the fish that will eat them.

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Fishing 101 Credits:

Written by Dave Stewart, Bass Buster Guide Service
Edited by Shawn Dunnaway
Fishing 101 may not be reproduced or reprinted and is provided exclusively by ExploreKentuckyLake.com

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