The Effects of Sunlight on Fishing

Being a strong proponent of ‘reading the water’ to catch fish, I would like to touch on another aspect: reading sun movement on a lake or pond.

Here Comes the Sun

Understanding the Effects of Sunlight on Fishing is Important to Fishing Success! *

You will learn the easiest by doing these exercises in a familiar pond or lake.  Why?  Because you already have some idea of the hotspots where you find fish.

The idea is to watch the effect of the sun, as it moves across the sky, on your favorite fishing spots.

You want to learn:

  • Where does the shade hang on longest in the morning?
  • Where does the sun abandon the lake/pond first?

Once you have mapped these areas on paper, or in your mind, let’s go fishing!

Sunrise Fishing

Fish in the spots where the sun strikes first.  As soon as that area becomes warmed, fish will either:

  • become less aggressive (less likely to bite), or
  • move into deeper water, or
  • both

Fish spots before morning light hits them. Fish feed most actively just before daylight or as the sun is sinking below the horizon.

After Work Fishing

Now, you will work in the reverse.  Which of your favorite spots have been out of sunlight longest?  These are the areas to start your fishing.

Move to your other hotspots only after the sun has moved away from those areas.

For Everything There is a Season

In the early part of the year: Because water temperature is still rather low, fish still respond positively to sunlight.

From the end of spawning till Labor Day: (or later, depending on where you live) Reading the sunlight will be an important factor!

Now: If you are fishing during hot weather, concentrate your attention on the shadows.  If fish have not moved into deeper water for the daylight hours, they will concentrate in or near structures (submerged logs, rock formations, weed beds, etc.).


* Used through the courtesy of Vantage Point Graphics.


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One Comment

  1. […] time (The Effects of Sunlight on Fishing), I talked about the effect sunlight has on fish and fishing.  When the water level is down, fish […]

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