Best Water Temperature For Fishing

Fishing can be fun, but before fishing knows all the small details would be helpful for you to catch fish.

In between all the main details about fishing, water temperature is one of the major topics you need to learn to catch fish.

Before starting fishing, two things never forget to check-

  1. Bass fishing techniques, and
  2. Water temperature.

These two are the main foundation of fishing. Fish become more active when they find the proper water temperature for them, but that water range is not the same for each fish species.

Fishing may look easy, and the answer is No. But to be experienced about fishing you need to learn many small tips and tricks.

Once you learn these things patiently, no one will be able to stop you.

Most of us know that fish species are cold-blooded. These species are unable to control their inner body warmth like humans.

As a result, the surrounding environment controls their metabolism.

In this article, I cover many small details about water temperature for fishing and why temperature affects fishes most of the time when the weather changes.

Fish Temperatures

Many fishing experts say the water temperature range is not the same for all fishes because it depends on different species of fishes and their areas.

We make a chart of different varieties of freshwater and saltwater fish’s water temperature in this guideline, so you can know at what water temperature fish become more active.

For Freshwater Fishes:

  • Crappie: 65 to 75 ºF
  • Walleye: 53 to 72 ºF
  • Largemouth Bass: 60 to 77ºF
  • Smallmouth Bass: 58 to 71ºF
  • Northern Pike: 55 to 75ºF
  • Rainbow Trout: 50 to 65ºF
  • Lake Trout: 42 to 55ºF
  • Brown Trout: 52 to 73ºF
  • Muskellunge: 55 to 73ºF
  • Salmon: 44 to 60ºF

For Saltwater Fishes:

  • Surfperch: 51 to 76ºF
  • Striped Bass: 55 to 65ºF
  • Bluefish: 66 to 73ºF
  • Red Snapper: 55 to 65ºF
  • Tarpon: 75 to 90ºF
  • Weakfish: 55 to 60ºF
  • Albacore Tuna: 50 to 64ºF
  • Mackerel: 45 to 48ºF

The average between 53 to 70ºF temperatures is perfect, and it will help produce extra bites in freshwater fishes.

On the other hand, a temperature around 65 to 77ºF is ideal for any saltwater angling.

Never forget to check the temperature before start fishing.

But, not out saying one thing, that without wasting your time finding out the temperature for different fish, try to know how and why water temperature changes.

One common question asked by many of you, when is the best time for fishing? I can assure you dawn and dusk, early morning, or at night is an ideal period to catch fish.

Fish loves to bite when the weather is cold and when they haven’t been feeding all day.

Always Check the Weather

Weather checking before fishing is one of the brilliant things you could do.

First, you can select your dress according to the weather.

For a warm day, you can pick some comfortable clothes, and for a rainy day, you need a raincoat and extra pair of dresses. Another reason you need to check the weather is that you will also know the fish movement.

On the other hand, you can easily target the deeper part of the water when the temperature is warm.

Lastly, when the weather is cold, it drops water temperature.

Why Do Fish Become Less Active In Cold Water?

It is because when the temperature drops, it slows down their metabolism and assimilates food slower. When the water starts getting sizzling, it helps to increase the metabolism of the fish rapidly.

They can easily dig food faster, which helps to increases the fish activity, and they start biting more and more.

But one major thing you need to check the water can’t be too hot. The fish will choke to death if the water is too hot.

Like human fish also need oxygen to breathe, but one molecule of oxygen cannot break down water molecules, so they take dissolved oxygen as a substitute.

The thing is, whenever water temperature increases, it drops the oxygen level.

These things need to check before fishing.

Best Time for Catching Fish

Not all freshwater fish active during the early morning and late evening hours, fishes like bass. They love when the sun is not so bright and feel comfortable.

Fish give a tour when there is less wind in lakes and ponds to search for food on the near-surface.

Spring Fishing

  • Early Morning – In this time, fishes feel hungry and spawning. The water is cold and doesn’t heat up. So not the right time and the water temperature is not suitable.
  • Late Morning-Early Afternoon – The sun starts getting hotter, and the water is ready for warm-up. At this time, the wind starts pushing the warmer water with the food, so you can easily catch fish on the downwind shoreline.
  • Afternoon-Early Evening Perfect time for fishing because the sun heated the water and fish start eating.
  • Early Morning – In this time fishes feel hungry and spawning. The water is cold and doesn’t heat up. So it’s not the right time and the water temperature is not suitable.

Summer Fishing

  • Early Morning-Late Afternoon During summertime, fishing is superb from before sunrise to just before mid-morning.
  • Late Morning-Early Afternoon – Water is warm at this time, and fish move to deeper water to cool off. Fishing is not a great option.
  • Afternoon-Early Evening – The best time for fishing because the waters are calm and fish rise from the depths.

Fall Fishing

  • Early Morning- The sun is not so bright. The ray cannot enter into the cold water. So you cannot catch fish at that time.
  • Late Morning-Noon- The water is quite cool. For fishing, this time is perfect because the water is warm.
  • Afternoon-Early Evening- During this time of the day, the sunray is very hot. The water starts getting very warming, and you can easily catch big fishes at this time.

Winter Fishing

One of the challenging seasons, to catch fish. As I say before, all fishes are cold-blooded, and they need warmer water to boost their metabolism. They also eat less during winter.

Fish feel comfortable staying in the warmest water they can find.

If you want to catch fish during the winter period, try to find deeper dredge holes, canals, and pockets adjacent to shallow flats.

Some Extra Tips to Catch Fish

  • Don’t forget to catch fish when the water temperature is above 6ºC, and the weather is perfectly settled;
  • When the water temperature has been 4ºC for few days;
  • The best time for fishing is in the afternoon. At that moment, the sun is too hot in the shallow areas of water;
  • No matter how cold it has been beforehand, don’t miss the chance to catch fish when the water temperatures begin to rise;
  • Another brilliant time for fishing is when the wind swings into the south or west and brings slightly milder weather.

How Can I Check the Water Temperature?

In this situation, you can use a thermometer to check the water temperature. But one key thing you need to keep in your mind that with the help of a thermometer, you can only measure the surface temperature.

You are not checking the whole water temperature. So the deeper you go, the colder the water will get.

The second option is you can use a fish finder to check the temperature. These devices always give you the approximate water temperature result.

Do Fish Bite When the Temperature Drops?

Of course, fish loves to bite when the temperature is in the mid-70s. At that time, they start biting like they haven’t eaten in months.

Unfortunately, you cannot find this type of weather more often, and when a cold front hits, it will shut the fishing down.

At What Temperature do Fish Need the Most Oxygen?

Fish needs oxygen when the temperature is around 74 to 78 deg F.

Most of the store owners sell concerning aquarium fish when the temperature is around 74 to 78 deg.

On the other hand, some fish like- goldfish and betas need temperatures as low as 40 to breathe. To dissolved oxygen, cold water is best than warmer, tropical waters.


Catching fish may look easy, but many things you need to consider before doing it. Always try to keep your eye on the water temperature whenever you want to hit the water during your fishing trip.

Though, it’s the water temperature depends on what type of fish you want to catch.

Take the help of a thermometer for an instant to know the temperature of the water.

I do my best to add much important information to this guideline about water temperature. Best wishes for your fishing trip, and never forget to do some research before pack your bag.

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