U.S.A Calendar Periods
The Calendar Periods
The Calendar divides the fishing year into 10 periods of fish response. These Calendar Periods are at the mercy of Mother Nature, so there is no certain number of days, nor do they occur on specific dates each year. Since Calendar Periods depend on climate and water conditions, they will vary in length from year to year depending on weather trends. Calendar Periods could last a few days one year and last several weeks the next year.
As you might have guessed, Calendar Periods vary according to regions. In areas of Canada, the Summer calendar period might arrive in July and last a few weeks. Meanwhile in Florida, the Summer period may arrive in May and last for over 5 months.
The Prespawn, Spawn and Postspawn Periods relate primarily to reproduction. Periods like the Summer, Fall (cold water), and Winter (coldest water) Periods relate more to water temperature and seasonal conditions.
Recognizing seasonal movements and fish response patterns are important to fishing success. Learn to read the signs, and you’ll be able to identify one period from another to determine when various species are in different Calendar Periods.
Fish Activity During The 10 Calendar Periods
- Prespawn: The period when fish are on the way to, or in the vicinity of, their spawning areas prior to spawing. During this stage, there can be feeding activity and heavy grouping. Fishing can be good.
- Spawn: A brief, variable period linked to the range of preferred spawning temperatures for each fish species. Feeding activity is minimal. Fish of the same species do not always spawn at the same time, however.
- Postspawn: THe length of the prespawn Period is variable, depending on water conditions, species of fish, and the sex of the fish. Make fish tend to be more responsive to fishing.
- Presummer: A transition period during which fish begin to establish summer patterns.
- Summer Peak: During this short period, most fish of a species establish summer patterns. The summer peak often begins after several days ans nights ofhot weather. Competition for abundant food sours fish activity and good fishing.
- Summer: Fish may stick to location patterns established during the summer peak. Algae blooms, cold fronts, abundant forage, and other factors may make fishing difficult. Fish activity patterns and fish location are predictable, however.
- Postsummer: This period occurs at the end of summer ehen days and nights bring consistently cooler weather. Fishing often is good.
- Fall Turnover: A short period when the lake is in turmoil from mixing of cold surface water and warmer water below. Turnover homogenizes lakes that have thermoclined (layered according to water temperature) in summer. Fishing is usually poor.
- Cold Water: This period occurs twice, once in early spring, and again during late fall. Fish establish specific patterns. Fishing can be very good.
- Winter: This is the coldest water of the year. Frozen water is common in northern regions, and so is the great sport of ‘ICE FISHING’