When is the best time to "Take a Kid Fishing?" Anytime that you can get away with a kid safely (let's avoid lightning storms and hurricanes) is a good time. However, as you gain experience you will see that some times are more likely to be productive than others. The following bullet points provide some basic tips.
- Time of Day--Typically for freshwater fishes especially, dawn and dusk tend to be more active feeding periods and also allow some escape from the heat. However, anytime of day you can expect to catch fish, if you know where to find them and are patient.
- Lunar Cycle--Yes, the phases of the moon also play a role in how aggressive fish are and how they congregate, especially around spawning time. The Solunar Calendar helps provide some insights into peak fishing periods based on this information--but remember local variables may play an even more important role.
- Weather Patterns--Many species of fish tend to fish actively just before a front passes through and then shut down somewhat during the sudden barometric changes associated with the storm front itself. If the front lasts for a prolonged period, after it passes can again bring enhanced fishing conditions. One good source of weather information is Wunderground, others are listed below.
- Spawning Cycles--Each fish species is prone to spawn at a certain time(s) of year. Part of this is programmed into their genes, but much of it is triggered by water temperature, lunar phase and their nutrition as well. For freshwater fishes, we have a chart that shows peak fishing seasons and shows their preferred spawning temperatures
- Events--Free Fishing Weekend occurs the first full weekend in April each year. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sponsors numerous events around the state to encourage parents and other responsible adults to "take a kid fishing" and see what they mean when they say "Water Works Wonders." The first full week in June is National Fishing and Boating Week and is a time when businesses around the state and our Division of Marine Fisheries concentrate many of their clinics. Watch the agency event schedule for other special opportunities.
Freshwater Fishing Peak Seasons
Marine Fishing Clinic Schedule