What You Should Know About Fishing Calendar Periods

Two men begin fishing in a small boat as the sun risesEvery angler knows that time of year has a major impact on fishing. But it may be difficult to nail down how exactly each part of the year changes the equation.

Luckily, fishing experts Ron and Al Lindler used their knowledge to divide the year into 10 calendar periods and published their findings in their magazine, In-Fisherman and their pamphlet “The Secret Teachings of In-Fisherman: Angling Wisdom and Knowledge.”

Of course, the dates these periods begin and end are not set in stone and will vary based on a number of factors, particularly the region you’re fishing. For example: if you start at the Southern tip of the US, spring will usually arrive one week later for every 100 miles you proceed North. However, the opposite is true of fall. It’s additionally important to remember that species won’t necessarily share the same periods, especially as it relates to spawning.

The 10 periods are broken up into three sub-categories. Here’s what you should know about each of them:

Periods Determined by Fish Behavior

The fishing calendar essentially kicks off in the spring, which will tend to begin in April or May in the Northern United States. Over the course of a month and a half or so, we’ll go through the pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn periods. This will begin when fish are on their way to spawning areas, a good fishing time. The spawning period will feature significantly less feeding activity. Then, in the post-spawning period, male fish will be much more responsive.

Periods Determined by Ecological Conditions

Following the post-spawning, you’ll have a period called pre-summer, which is when the fish will begin their summer patterns. Once those patterns are established, you’ll have the summer peak, which tends to begin after several days of hot weather. In this time, competition for food spurs fish activity, making this one of the best times of year to fish. This will slow down during the summer period however, as algae blooms, cold fronts, and other factors make fishing difficult. Things pick back up again in the post-summer, when the weather begins to cool down.

Periods Determined by Water Temperature

The final few periods of the year begin with the fall turnover, which is when the cold surface water and warmer water below mix, homogenizing the lakes and making for poor fishing. Then begins the cold-water period, which occurs on either side of the winter period. In these times, fish establish specific patterns, making for good fishing. In the winter, the water can be frozen or close to it in much of the country.

No matter what calendar period you plan to fish this year, it’s important to have the right equipment. Signature Fishing Rods has dozens of custom rods and other gear available to give you the best possible experience. Call  630.234.6214 to learn more about products!