What Fish Are Biting This Time Of Year? Comprehensive Guide For Every Angler

If you’re wondering what fish are biting this time of year, you’ve come to the right place.

There are always different kinds of fish for every season, which is part of the fun in angling. Each season you head out to your fishing trip, you can expect to catch something new. That’s why angling is a great pastime for most people looking to discover new fish species they’re never caught before.

Whether you go in the summer, fall, winter, or spring, you are never out of luck on fish to bite the bait! So what kind of fish are biting right now? Let’s dive into it and check them out below.

What Fish Are Biting This Time Of Year?

With season changes, the fish species you can catch also tend to vary. If you happen to head out at different times of the year, here is what you can expect. Check out what fish are biting this time of year – be it winter, spring, summer, or fall!

Summertime Fish

summertime fish

With the nice weather, it’s always a good idea to do some fishing and discover what awaits your line. The following are some of the most common fish that are biting this time of year.

1. Crappie

If you’re a crappie fan, then summer is the perfect time to get your fishing gears ready and prepare for a big catch.

These frisky fish are popular among anglers for a reason – they are exciting to catch and quite a rewarding experience once you get your prized targets. Crappies are often found around sunken logs, deep laydowns, and deep brush.

Interestingly, there are also quite a number of lakes across the country that are noted for crappie fishing. Best baits and lures to use include bait rigs with minnows, tiny crankbaits, and jig heads, to name a few.

2. Smallmouth Bass

Another popular summertime fish, the smallmouth bass is quite abundant nationwide.

You can easily find these fish in lakes, rivers, and streams. However, they are one of the toughest fish species to catch. They really put up a fight and will test your skills and patience. But that’s part of the fun in smallmouth bass fishing!

Among their favorite hangout areas are rocky shorelines, offshore structure, and current seams. Consider using the right baits such as topwater baits, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits for best results.

3. Largemouth Bass

Of course, who would not forget the ever-popular Largemouth Bass? These fish are among the most sought-after species in the country. After all, they really give you a thrilling experience as you muscle your way to catch these tough fish!

Whether you are in the Atlantic Coast or San Diego’s waterbodies, you should be able to find an abundance of Largemouth Bass. Use excellent baits for your big catch such as soft plastics, crankbaits, and jigs.

4. Catfish

Can’t get enough of catfish? Then you’re in luck – summertime fishing can yield an abundance of catfish, as long as you’re at the right place, of course.

These bottom feeders are another tough ones to catch. They fight hard, which is part of their appeal to seasoned anglers. You can easily find big cats in deeper holes on the river, creek channels, and the like.

We also recommend that you go catfishing after a storm or during cold fronts, once the water has been muddied. Additionally, you need to get your baits ready – chicken livers and stink baits work amazingly well.

5. Bluegill

Newbies and seasoned anglers looking to catch some Bluegill should head out in the summer for these bad boys. These aggressive fish are a challenge, yet they are some of the most delicious fish you can get this time of year.

But what’s fascinating about Bluegill is that they are easy to catch once you have all the right tools and go to the right places. Laydowns, grass beds, and docks are their favorite hiding spots. If you get lucky enough to use the right baits, you can consider Bluegill as your “day saver” and bring home a hefty catch at the end of the day!

6. Northern Pike

If you’re somewhere in the northeast or upper Midwest, the Northern Pike is a great fish to catch in the summer. These predators are among the most common in the rivers and lakes of these parts of the country.

Northern Pikes are big fish, with looks that resemble a barracuda. Targeting these tough fish is challenging but also thrilling, especially once you are able to catch them after a big fight.

Search for these fish in weedy bays, backwaters, shallow and grass lines for best results. As for the perfect baits, we recommend crankbaits, swim jigs, and spinnerbaits. Any minnow look-a-likes should work for these fish.

7. White Bass

First-time anglers should have a ball trying to catch white bass and getting awesome results at the end of the day.

These are very easy to catch as they are willing to bite the bait and stretch your line. They are best to find in rivers and lakes, especially if you have minnow-like baits. Spinners, crankbaits, and topwaters also work in catching these fish species.

Fall Season Fish

fall season fish

Thinking of doing some fishing in the fall? When everything has cooled down from the past season, fall is actually a great time to go fishing while immersing yourself in the gorgeous autumn colors all around you.

Anglers should find a few great fish to catch that are indeed worth their time for fall fishing.

1. Perch

These beautiful yellowfish are fun to catch in the fall. They love to hang around muddy areas, as well as in areas that are close to structures. Shallow waters are where they are usually at, which makes it easy for any angler to catch.

You need the best bait for perch fishing. We recommend small minnow baits, chartreuse-colored baits and the linke when trying to catch preach in stained or clear water.

2. Walleye

Another awesome fish in the fall, Walleye tends to feed during the day when the water gets a little warmer. This is their typical habit in early fall, which adds to your ease of catching them.

However, as the fall season nears its end, these fish frequent deeper water. It can be a bit trickier to catch them but it’s nothing that the right bait can help you with. Trolling crankbaits, for instance, prove to be effective, especially when you need to spot them at their typical location. Big baits are your best bets to catch Walleye, particularly when they hide in larger structures underwater.

3. Bass

Whether you are in the mood for smallmouth or largemouth bass fishing in the fall, this season will not disappoint. You can still find plenty of bass in the fall, usually on reservoirs and lakes.

It may not be as easy to catch them as in the summer, but you can still gain success in doing so. With a reliable sonar, you can track their whereabouts and catch yourself some bass. You can also check for diving and circling birds, which should point you towards the direction of your target.

4. Crappie

Another summertime fish that’s also typical to find in the fall, crappie is commonly found in deep or shallow water. The difference is all in the water conditions.

Some special fishing techniques are necessary to catch yourself some crappie this time of year. Use 2-inch tubes to catch these, and you should be without fail. These are particularly effective when fishing on Michigan’s lakes.

5. Bluegill

When out in the fall for some fishing adventure, you can expect to catch yourself some Bluegill and get good results.

These fish are typical in rocky shores, as well as shallow weeds. You will have to use the perfect live bait for these fish or even a sinking fly, which is particularly effective when doing some mid-day fishing.

6. Muskie

We can never stress enough how fun it is to catch muskie in the fall, as they simply come in abundant numbers! They are often found in rocky shorelines, open water weed beds, or river mouths. Pretty much anywhere that is clear and weedless would be the perfect spot.

Muskies can never resist slow-moving baits. So, you can keep your fast-moving lures for next time and for other fish and go for the perfect bait for these fish species.

Wintertime Fishing

wintertime fishing

It may be a difficult time of year to fish because of the crazy cold temperature. However, it’s also a good season to go fishing because it’s not as busy, which means you can fully enjoy being out in nature without so many crowds.

Winter angling offers great rewards – and these fish are just among the ones you can expect to catch this season.

1. Channel Catfish

Are you a big fan of catfish? Some people may not be too crazy about their flavor but if you are up for a fight, then channel catfish is one to target.

These aggressive and active fish make angling in the winter exciting. They are not the easiest to catch, yet this simply adds to their unique appeal. The right bait and techniques should prove impressive results when catching yourself some catfish.

2. Cobia

In the winter, the most common fish species is the Cobia. In fact, you can easily catch these fish because of how abundant they are during this season.

You would need heavy jigs and a wide range of baits to catch these elegant fish. As a bonus, they actually taste pretty good, too!

3. Snapper

While they are most common in warm waters, you will be surprised to find a few in shallow, cooler waters. You can easily find them in the winter, specifically in certain areas including wrecks and reefs.

Check out places with plenty of covers, which are where these fish frequently go to when the water is cooler. But do make it a point to check out shallow waters, as well as inshore areas where you may find some snapper, too.

4. Northern Pike

Quite similar to a catfish in terms of aggression and level of difficulty, Northern Pike tends to be aggressive, yet a lot of fun to catch. They are common in the lakes in the northern region of the country

Some species may have no interest at all in artificial lures but not the Northern Pike. They will easily bite your bait, especially when you use minnows.

5. Trout

With their unique metabolism, you can easily find trout in the winter. They are highly active this time of year, so wintertime anglers will be able to expect to see more of these fish.

Trout prefers the coldest water, and you can find them biting more even during this frigid time of year. So, go ahead and test your fishing skills by catching some trout.

Spring Fishing

spring fishing

The cool temperatures may still be hanging around, yet it is significantly warmer in the water, at least. With that being said, you can find quite a few fish species in the spring that you have not found before. These are:

1. Rainbow trout

The rainbow trout is a popular sport fish because of the excitement involved in catching this beauty. They are most common in spring, just when the water temperature has gotten a tad warmer.

They are best to catch at mid-day or in the afternoon, specifically when the sun is up high. A shift in your fishing strategy may also be needed to catch these elusive fish.

2. Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

Although they are most abundant in the summer, you should be able to see a few of these largemouth and smallmouth bass as early as spring.

They are commonly found in clearer water, as well as areas along water structures and rocks.

Specifically for smallmouth bass, you can gain success in catching them by throwing out your bait with a weighted blade. This causes a vibration movement, which is irresistible for the smallmouth bass.

3. Catfish

Just when spring starts, you can find a few catfish that are on the prowl for food. They go out of their hiding spots in spring to cater to their feeding habits.

It may be a bit tricky to spot this fish at first, though. However, when you have the right bait including chicken liver or anything that smells appealing to these fish, you can definitely catch these aggressive fish that are hunting for food to munch.

Bottom Line

There is never a lack of fish to catch no matter what time of year you go fishing.

With the season change comes a change in the fish species available to catch, and we hope our list can help you spot your prized fish.

There are also better times to go fishing, depending on the season. But for the most part, you can gain success in your angling experience when you go out during the early morning, afternoon to dusk, or at midday or late afternoon.

So, be sure to time your fishing trip right, consider the right bait to use, the best locations to go to, and expect to have a big catch no matter what time of year it may be!

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