Best Time to Go Saltwater Fishing

Kristian Ole



Saltwater fishing isn’t an activity you can indulge in on a whim by grabbing your essential fishing equipment. There is an array of factors you need to be vigilant about. Temperature, weather patterns, and barometric pressure are just a few elements you need to measure if you are looking to find the best time when saltwater fishing. Then there is also the question of high tide, low tide, full moon or moonless night and even early morning or later afternoon.

So what really is the best time to go saltwater fishing? Here is a brief but precise overview.

Saltwater tides

The changing of tides can affect the water level. The same shallow area can be a bare mud bank during low tide but can hold a great deal of fish during high tide. While saltwater tides are constantly fluctuating, here a few things to know about:

  • Continuous water movement has a direct impact on crustaceans and baitfish who are going to be more active which inevitably make fish move more towards the bait
  • A daily tide chart throws valuable insight on the best fishing tide so you can pick up a chart from your local store
  • Refrain from fishing during slack tides as during these times, the tide is not moving in or going out and instead lay emphasis on changing tides and moving currents
  • A strong incoming tide is the best for fishing as the current lures in baitfish and other prey to the land

One painstaking trick you need to master is understanding the patterns fish set up and keeping a watch on their changes.

Barometric pressure and the weather

Wind helps to create ambient/water noise; it can drive bait towards the shoreline and even create muddy areas. The weather can also impact the temperature of the water as it can have a direct correlation to the place and depth of where you can easily find fish. The arrival of a front also plays a vital role. When the barometer pressure is dropping, just before a front comes through, is generally the best time to go saltwater fishing. After a fort passes, fish need a certain amount of time to adjust to the water temperature.

Lunar phases and the overall best time

Lunar phases and fishing

The phases of the moon can actually hinder or encourage your saltwater fishing expeditions. A new or full moon shines more light on the water at night. This can influence the way fish find food. During the times of a new or full moon, the pull of gravity leads to more potent saltwater tides. The optimal fishing time is during stronger currents as it means more energetic baitfish. Generally speaking, daybreak or sunset is the most preferred time, especially if tidal movements and weather work in your favor.

Remember, it is vital to take into account weather and peak tides if you want to enhance your success rates at fishing. This is sure to ensure you have a much positive saltwater fishing experience.  


What is the best time to saltwater fish?

The best time to saltwater fish is often during the change of tides, particularly a strong incoming tide. Additionally, the period just before a weather front comes through, when barometric pressure is dropping, can also be a great time to fish. Generally, daybreak or sunset are preferred times, especially when these conditions align with tidal movements and favorable weather.

What month is the best for saltwater fishing?

The best month for saltwater fishing can vary greatly depending on the location and the species of fish you’re targeting. However, many anglers find that warmer months, typically late spring through early fall, offer excellent saltwater fishing opportunities. Always check local fishing reports for the most accurate information.

Is it best to fish high or low tide?

Both high and low tides can be productive for fishing, but the change of tides, especially a strong incoming tide, is often the best time to fish. This is because the current can lure baitfish and other prey to the land, attracting larger fish. Low tide can expose areas that hold fish during high tide, so understanding the patterns of fish in relation to the tides can be beneficial.

Is it better to saltwater fish at night?

Nighttime can be an excellent time for saltwater fishing, especially during a full or new moon. The increased light at night during these lunar phases can influence how fish find food. Additionally, some species of fish are more active or feed more aggressively at night. However, safety should be a top priority when fishing at night.


About Kristian Ole

Kristian Ole Rørbye, a marine biologist and seasoned angler, shares his fishing adventures and expertise on FishingKris. Join him as he explores the world's waters, one cast at a time.

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